After influenza takes his brother and his brother's wife, Nathaniel Bennet, Baron of Avery, must protect their three children from his villainous uncle, who wants control of the children, especially the male heir. Nathaniel plans to raise them within a loving family and decides to hire a governess.

Miss Harriet Sainthill, condemned to spinisterhood after her fiancé jilted her, accepts the position, hoping for a quiet new life. Nathaniel greets her on the dark and stormy night of her arrival at his borrowed castle in Scotland, but Harriet is surprised to find there aren't any children in evidence yet, as they are still on their way from London.

Harriet and Nathaniel, though at odds over the strangeness of the situation, are immediately attracted to one another, and by the time the nursery is filled, romance is in full bloom at the remote, very gothic castle.

This is a very family-oriented love story, but without undue intrusion by the children. If you liked Jane Eyre or any later gothic from the 1970s, you'll love this very Regency-flavored romance. SPICY (Jul., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger