Behold a new sparkling delight from the prolific pen of the always excellent Emily Hendrickson.

Desperate circumstances call for desperate choices, or so Miss Juliet Winterton believes when she runs away from her country estate to avoid an unwelcome marriage. Of course, this drastic departure would not have been necessary if her long-absent father had ever returned from his mission to Russia. Until that event occurs, however, she is subject to the uncaring whims of her stepbrother.

Still, her impulsive decision to masquerade as the wife of a rakish gentleman who has never visited his small, isolated country estate seems fraught with unnecessary peril. Indeed, how is she to know that Alexander Barr, Lord Hawkswood, would find it necessary to flee London from a scheming beauty and hide himself away in the one place in England where he feels safe?

For a man who doesn't believe in love, however, he finds it strangely impossible to reveal the truth and throw the beautiful impostor out of his house. Is there any way for pretense to turn into reality?

Although the heroine's sweet integrity is not consistent with the piquant premise, this book's clever plot and appealing characters will put a smile on your face. (Oct., 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer