St. Martin's, Nov 2004, 6.99, 352 pp.
In 1810, Lady Brook Meylan has remained in exile rusticating since her spouse and child died two years ago. Most people assume she mourns the loss of her husband, but she hated him for physically and mentally abusing her; she grieves for her child. She vows never again will a human male freely do whatever he wants to do to her under the label marriage. To enforce her edict, Brook only shows up at family events hosted by her blood family and only when they really pressure and coax her.
Artist Mallory Claeg is known as a womanizer who knows how to treat a lady with respect especially in his portraits and his bed. When he meets Brook at a family event, he offers the widow pleasure, but she aloofly rejects his advances though this man is tempting to her. This is a unique experience for a man hitting a home run every time he swings his bat. Stunned and already half in love, Mallory begins courting her.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner