Disillusioned about love,
Sir Ned Greaves decides to buy a remote property and concentrate
on rebuilding it. When he's attacked by outlaws on the outskirts of his property, he conceals his identity until he can bring the men to justice. He buries himself in his work until the widow Joanna Merrill demands entrance.
Jobless and penniless after fighting the advances of a lecherous nobleman, Joanna comes seeking shelter with her brother. Ned is attracted to the homeless beauty and offers her a job as schoolmistress. Soon they're partners
in the quest to rebuild the manor and establish a school for the local children. They become lovers and are considering marriage when their world comes crashing down. Outlaws torch the mill and take Joanna prisoner. Ned rushes to the rescue, but his duplicity is revealed during the trial. All seems lost between them until Joanna realizes the true depth of Ned's love --- a love worth fighting for. (HARLEQUIN, Oct.,
290 pp., $5.99)