A bright new star dawns in the Regency heavens with the superior debut of Wilma Counts.

The conditions of the will are nothing short of outrageous. Unless the newly elevated Earl of Markholme marries Miss Sarah Longbourne, a spirited spinster managing a nearby estate, he will inherit only debts and she will lose her family home. Deciding to make the best of their difficult situation, the two embark on matrimony determined to avoid any emotional involvement.

That, however, turns out to be easier said than done. The wall between them begins to crumble, first by hot passion and then by a rare communion of spirit that makes each quiet moment something to cherish.

But will their budding relationship grow strong enough to handle the reappearance of Markholmes first love? And what will happen when Markholme must return to war to fulfill his commitment to Wellington?

This richly textured, maturely developed love story bodes extremely well for a long and lustrous career for this fine new talent. (Sep., 223 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer