In only her second book, Jean Ewing proves herself a force to be reckoned with in the exclusive halls of Regency excellence.

Amidst the carnage of a Peninsular battlefield, Captain Richard Acton promises a dying comrade to watch over his sister and provide any assistance she might require in the future. Delayed by the continuing military action, it is only some months later that he is able to make the journey to Cornwall to deliver his friend's last effects and see to his new charge.

Life is currently very painful for Miss Helena Tretharen, who has not only lost both her father and bother, but is now reduced to the status of dependent poor relation when the family estate passes into the hands of a distant relative. Worse yet, the new owner is pressing his unwanted attentions, making Helena's position totally untenable.

The obvious solution, of course, is marriage, and the captain whisks his new bride off to take up residence at his own estate. But can friendship and a growing passion be enough for these two gallant souls. Or is love worth the risk? Each will have to learn to trust the other and share the dangerous secrets of their hearts.

Ms. Ewing exquisitely explores myriad, intensely-charged emotions as she takes us on a journey of shattering intimacy through the hearts and minds of her immensely appealing lovers. Regency connoisseurs will now have another superstar to cherish! (Feb., 256 pp., $3.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer