Following Wideacre (1986), Gregory's debut historical romance set in 18th-century England, comes a sequel that packs a punch--one strong enough to send those who missed the first book back to it to find out where in the world the wild people here came from. Book two--in what promises to be a series chronicling the English Lacey family's internecine struggles over Wideacre Hall--takes up the confessional style Gregory used before, but this time her tattler is sweet Julia Lacey, raised near the manor ruined by her father and Aunt Beatrice. Her childhood companion is her devilishly charming cousin, Richard, even as a youth so awful that sheep turn upon him. Submerged beneath Julia's instinctive love for Richard is her awareness that he's in some way twisted: when she uses her gift for ""sight"" to warn villagers of an impending disaster, he gets her widowed mama and uncle to send her off to Bath for consultations with a doctor and doses of laudanum. Then he connives her break with a fiancâ€š, rapes her, murders a witness, and forces her to marry him when she reveals that she's pregnant. But Julia's mama and uncle have a revelation of their own: she and Richard, it seems, are actually brother and sister--a bit of news that causes Richard to kill off both mama and uncle before they can have the marriage annulled. After a harrowing confinement, Julia will give birth and send the child away with gypsies--before giving the order that will put an end to the menace that is Richard once and for all. In less accomplished hands, this would be silly stuff indeed, but Gregory pulls it off boldly. A book to win her more fans for Lacey tales yet to come.