O what a glorious treasure master storyteller Sara Blayne has up her sleeve for us this month!

The Devil's Cub is back at last. Fifteen years after departing his gloomy keep, Caleb Dameron, 27th Earl of Styles, returns home convinced that he is on the road to madness, just like his deceased and quite despised mother. In a desperate attempt to escape the pain, not to mention the horrific visions, he takes flask in hand and sets off on a wild ride in the middle of the night, determined to find oblivion, one way or the other.

What he finds is Miss Theodora Havelock, daughter of the local physician, out gathering herbs whose efficacy is most potent when picked by moonlight. She does not tremble at the sight of so dreaded a figure as the Devil's Cub; after all, she is a white witch with acute empathetic powers of perception, all of which tell her that his lordship is in very bad shape indeed. Someone has to take care of the man, and there are those interesting, albeit heretofore never felt, biological feelings she wishes to share with him.

And thus begins the great experiment in male-female relationships, in which the Devil's Cub takes a very unusual wife whose eccentric ways will either kill or cure him.

In a bravura performance, Ms. Blayne makes us laugh, cry and totally fall in love with a splendid hero and a superb heroine. Chalk this one up as one of the best Regency romances in recent memory. (Sept., 350 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer