Regency romance is Hill's specialty, a genre she's served well in past efforts, like The Stanhope Girls. Into her latest, she injects a touch more psychological depth than the Regency formula usually calls for, to largely good effect. In keeping with the genre, the reader knows immediately which handsome, worthy man will end up with which lovely but rebellious lady's arm at the end. In this case, Anne Guilfoyle, a London lady-wit who loses her small fortune and must repair to the wilds of Cheshire (""a bluestocking at a farm""), is aided in managing the intricacies of crop rotation and sheep shearing by a neighboring gentleman, Henry Highet. Though the mere touch of his big, rugged hand on her dainty one sends shivers up her spine, she resists him, for next to her beloved Lord Ensley--a town fop who can never be hers because he must marry for money--Henry seems dull. When Ensley does Finally land an heiress, Anne agrees to a marriage of convenience with Henry: He gets her farm, she, her freedom in London. But Henry proves somewhat less tedious and unworldly than she expects--a lover of Turner, a man capable, when it's called for, of the bon mot, in short, a fine husband (in every sense of the word). Anne's slow realization that she is fallible--as well as Henry's deep, still nature--gives this romance spine, which handsomely compensates for what it occasionally lacks in sparkle and verve.