The maharani of paperback romance breaks into hard-covered print with the slenderest of chateau country fables, more fairy tale than novel. Beauty is Syrilla, surpassingly pure, unspeakably honest. The Beast is thee Duc de Savigne, a dissipated rake who must marry to appease his dying maman. None but Syrilla will have him (she's a hick, knowing naught of his Paris, 1830 debaucheries), and, within a week of the marriage, her vision of the Duc as the White-Knight-he-once-was works a miraculous change, thanks also to her quick wit, her trim waist, her social conscience, and her gift for artificial respiration. Artificial inspiration may be the Cartland muse, and the pillage of du Maurier for a final French twist is a bit blatant, but there is so little pretense of reality here (despite the references to rebellion, vineyards, game stews, and gibelotes) that the pureness, goodness, and inevitability of it all cast a certain back-to-childhood spell.