O'Riley's debut should generate interest in this talented author, whose unique plot twists and strong feminist ideals add freshness to the genre.

After her father's death Caroline Armstrong's grandparents bring her to England, hoping to find her a suitable husband. But Caroline has no wish to marry and cleverly manages to keep her suitors at bay. She soon realizes, however, that she had best come up with a better plan. Enter Alexander Woodward, Duke of Woodborough, a great catch but as determined as Caroline not to be caught.

They realize they are kindred spirits and hatch a scheme to solve their problems: They will pretend to court. But, the best laid plans go astray and as they fall in love their scheme falls apart. Caroline cannot refuse to marry Alex, she loves him and he adores her. But when a secret from Caroline's past appears it seems that the trust they built their marriage on is evaporating and Caroline must find the means to reclaim Alex's heart. (Zebra, Feb., 348 pp., $3.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin