Well on her way to becoming a real favorite is Jean R. Ewing, who brings us a new novel in her Reward series about officers returning from the Peninsula to find that life in England can be even more dangerous than serving abroad.

Michael Dechardon Grey, eighth Earl of Deyncourt, has decided to marry at last. But before he proposes to the Incomparable Melton, he decides to make an inspection tour of his young ward's estate. Little does he expect to stumble across his fate in the form of a feisty young woman holding a gun on the local magistrate.

Jessica Whinburn is not your average highwayman. In fact, she is not a highwayman at all. But she is not about to stand idly by while a blubbering idiot beats his horses to death. Fortunately, the earl intervenes, although shooting her does seem a somewhat extreme measure. Still, it does provide her with shelter and a way to complete her own journey to London, where she hopes to support herself as a literary translator.

Somehow, the charms of the Incomparable seem to fade in comparison to Jessica's bright spirit, and Deyncourt finds himself increasingly unsure of his choice. Is there any way for these unexpected lovers to find happiness?

Ms. Ewing entertains us with a variety of intriguing characters, creating a memorable love story for the Regency connoisseur. (Sept., 250 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer