Berkley, Jun 2004, 6.99, 336
In 1817, Lord John Sinclair knows he needs a wife so he can begat an heir, but knows his scarred face caused by smallpox as a child frightens children. Though he would prefer not to, the reclusive John needs the help of his estranged brother and surprisingly his new sister-in-law supports not only reconciliation but assisting John.
With her mom pregnant, Louisa Crookshanks coaxes her widowed Aunt Marianne Hughes to chaperone her during her London season. Louisa believes that John would make the perfect spouse for her. However, though John feels that the beautiful debutant seems unafraid of him and even flirts with him, he feels an attraction to her aunt. Marianne returns the desire and growing love, but though her marriage to Harry was good, she has doubts about a second time.
This enjoyable Regency romance consists of several delightful protagonists who are nice intelligent people (except for the hero's deceased father) with issues that bring out the period in a witty manner. The story line grips the reader as the cast hooks the audience who want everything to work out for the best, which is not that easy to make happen. Fans will look forward to a sequel starring a precious niece from an author who is soaring to the top.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner