Lord Eliot Fitzwalter, a wastrel, stormed out on his mother and half-brother five years ago and time in Canada has not improved him. Broke, drunk and injured, Eliot is rescued by a young woman. He wonders how he can seduce his way into favor with the two Barton sisters. Grace Barton has plenty of trouble without her injured house guest. She and Mercy are barely surviving, their odious landlord is raising the rent and Mercy is mooning over a naval officer who's gone to sea. Grace's troubles worsen when the landlord wants to marry her and Mercy admits she is pregnant.

Touched by Grace's dignity and goodness, Eliot works to help her and wishes he were a better man. He is everything Grace could want, but her desire to put her sister's welfare first leaves her with some difficult choices.

Eliot is an appealing rogue, not nearly so callous as he believes, and Ms. Williams has provided the heroine with a good rogue she deserves. Grace's tribulations will soften your heart. SWEET (Aug., 250 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cindy Royce