Leisure, Apr 2004, 5.99, 336 pp.
In 1816, Lionel Westfall finds two deaths in the family have shockingly destroyed his hedonistic London lifestyle. His father died making him an earl with incredible responsibilities that feel overwhelming. That pales when compared to the death of Penelope his wife as she left behind for him to raise six strangers that he sired with her ranging from eighteen years old and younger.
Rustic neighbor and daughter of the local squire, Sophie Bowerbank gets Lionel's children out of trouble. Lionel decides she would be the perfect tutor for his three sons not away at school. He also remembers her as the girl he kissed at THE KISSING GATE two decades ago and would not mind renewing that practice. Sophie has dreamed of Lionel since those kisses, but finds the man is much more as she knows now that she has always loved him, but hides that because he shows no indication that he feels the same way towards her, which of course we readers know he does.
This second chance at love regency is a fine tale due to the lead couple and his six sons, who add humor and drama with their exploits. A subplot involving a malevolent person who wants to keep the adults apart seems unnecessary as Lionel and Sophie have enough on their plate to contend with. Still fans will enjoy Fiona Carr's fine romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner