The London season is over, so Dowager Viscountess Ransome plans a house party for a bit of excitement. Even more carefully, she plans her guest list. Why not do a bit of matchmaking on the side, eh? One of the guests, her niece, Lady Diana Gilbert, is special to her, and Di will do anything for her aunt Mary. Di also hopes that she can be strong for her delicate sister, Charlotte, especially depend-ing on who the male guests will be.

As it turns out, all of the guests have an agenda. The men who have no purse try to make a match with a woman with an overflowing one. The women who have no purse try to match with a rich man -- even if it means rudely breaking up something promising or setting up a scam.

To Di's delight, her childhood love, Tom Cole, and his mother are among the guests. Di's been a widow for a year, and she hopes that Tom is still single and that their long-lost passion can be revived. McCabe does a terrific job with this simple story of love, rank and a bit of deceit in, quite possibly, the last of our traditional Regencies. (Feb., 224 pp., $4.99)
Reviewed by: 
Robin Taylor