One of Signet's rising new stars does herself proud in a delightful romance sparkling with elegant wit and winning characters.

After the death of her country vicar father, Miss Emaline Harrison is determined to see something of the world, or at least a different part of it, and accepts a position as a lady's companion. But in the process of packing up her few remaining family possessions, she finds a fabulous ruby necklace, apparently lent to her mother years ago but inadvertently never returned.

Puzzled and horrified by her discovery, she decides to return the jewels in person. Little does she dream that before the day is out she will be both wedded and widowed.

Lord Liam Whitcomb wants no part of his loathsome cousin's wealth, which he will nevertheless inherit if the scoundrel dies unmarried. Even the dying scoundrel's plan to marry a lady of the streets is preferable to remaining his heir. So when a young woman opportunely arrives at the estate, he quickly hustles her into a bizarre deathbed ceremony, only to discover that the new Lady Seymour is not at all what he thought.

Ms. Kirkland's discerning eye and vivid characterizations make this engaging tale a delicious reading experience. (Apr., 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer