Regency aficionados are in for another spectacular delight from superstar Patricia Oliver.

Miss Serena Millbanks has no desire for a London Season. At the insistence of her father, however, the spirited miss agrees to make her bow in the Little Season. But what spoiled sprig of the ton would be interested in a plain, positively ancient and, worst of all, sharp-witted woman not afraid to speak her mind?

Little did Guy Hawkhurst, fifth Duke of Wolverton, realize that his drunken attentions to an unknown lady at an evening entertainment would result in his own bodily harm and then in a growing fascination with the trenchant Miss Millbanks. No other woman would dare to engage in physical as well as verbal fisticuffs with a duke.

The sparks of their first encounters light a surprising fire between the perceptive Serena and the tormented Hawkhurst. But can they lower the final barriers to true love?

Ms. Oliver once again proves herself a master storyteller, whose vivid characters take on lives of their own in our hearts in this superbly striking love story. (Mar., 224 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer