McPhee utilizes the atmosphere of the gothic, leading readers through a maze of unanswered questions and underlying terror. But a faster pace and a heroine with more inner strength would have helped. Still, it's a good autumn night's read.
Guy Tregellas, Lord Varington, is intrigued by the beauty and the mystery of the woman who washes up on shore. He suspects she's lying about her identity. Helena McGregor has escaped a brutal lord and, until she's far from his reach, she cannot trust anyone. But when Guy insists on escorting her to her relatives, he slowly unearths the truth. While they investigate what has happened to her family, they fall in love. But then an enemy abducts Helena's sister, and Helena must summon the strength to face her nemesis. (Harlequin, Nov., 280 pp., $5.99)