Relaxing, romantic period piece -- less of a book than her Preacher On Horseback, but pleasant entertainment set in pre-revolutionary Alexandria in the story of the Hiltons. Centered is Hope, more direct, more intelligent, and more vulnerable than her prettier, fickler sisters who annex her two fiances. Determined not to face the humiliation of a second jilting, Hope marries Michael, an indentured convict of aristocratic English birth whom she purchases. A gallantry and indiscretion over Hope's sister -- visiting in England -- put Michael in this position; now, returning to America, Michael finds her threatening his marriage. A yellow fever scare, a brother's enlistment and death, romantic rivalries, and the birth of a daughter to Michael and Hope sustain a well handled story.