Embittered after the Peninsula War, Lord Nicholas, Earl of Seagrave, leads a boring life. Even his engagement to a perfect young lady does not excite him. But the thought of the famous Cyrian courtesan, Susanna Kellaway, claiming her inheritancethe lease on a cottage on his estateproves intriguing.

After their father's death, Susanna, fleeing disgrace in London, takes over the cottage. When it seems she has the opportunity to catch a rich husband she convinces her twin sister, Lucille, to take her place.

The sisters are as different as night from day. Lucille is a teacher in a girls academy and a bluestocking with no interest in men. But she agrees to the charade to help Susanna, having no idea what kind of a mess she is getting into.

Lucille does not mind being ostracized by the people of the county. But when she learns of rumors about a liaison between "her" (actually Susanna) and Seagrave that has forced his fiancie to call off their engagement, and that he has come to see her, she is at her wits end. Meanwhile, Nicholas cannot believe this intelligent, almost shy woman can be the notorious ladybird and he sets out to uncover the truth.

Cute and very much an English-style Regency, this delightful tale of a masquerade gone awry will delight ardent Regency readers. SWEET (Jun., 388 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin