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The latest modestly ingratiating Regency by Dunn, who entangles her flock of plumply domesticated characters through the genre's silly wobblings of romance, routs and rescue with unhurried charm. As always, the off-and-on lovers approach one another from a far distance. Lord Hugh Iverbrook, returned from Jamaica, sets out to remove his heir--orphaned nephew five-year-old Peter--from the ""spinster"" clutches of Selena, sister of his brother's late wife. Hugh initiates a lawsuit; Selena vows to fight. Hugh leaves with relief his own holding, where his stepfather's only love is his prize pigs, and where Mother carps and whines; he travels to Milford Man, home of Selena; of her mother, pleasant Lady Whitton; and her sister, pretty Delia. Also in residence is that ""exquisite"" Sir Aubrey, the Milford heir who has been left no property and who aims to marry Cousin Selena. After Hugh's arrival and the first round of hostilities, there's harvest time with joint endeavors, and a tentative meeting of minds stirs hidden fires in both. But, of course, there are sinkholes in True Love's smooth roadbed: Hugh's former mistress, the lustily ambitious Amabel, has plans and plots; Sir Aubrey, the perennial sponger, becomes Amabel's accomplice: and there are major misunderstandings between solid Hugh and hot-tempered Selena which sprout each time Hugh gallops off to London. Before the Final embrace--proposals and disposals; a chilly escape from a ruined abbey; two kidnaps and rescues. Without the late Heyer's high ton or the high jinks of Chesney. Still, for leisurely, amiable appeal--quite the thing.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1986
ISBN: 0000069590
Publisher: Walker