Excessively sweet Regency romance, okay on ton but lacking in tang. Well-born orphan Ada Ashbourne, 26, is jouncing over Scotland's roads, on her way to be a companion to a countess. . . when, forced by a storm to put up at a disreputable inn, she's drugged and trussed up by a clutch of white slavers. Enter Lord Vincent Maplethorpe, coolly handsome--who discovers Ada, hides her in his room, and (when one of his gossipy friends strolls in) saves Ada's rep by declaring that they're married. So the rest of the novel then chronicles the slow dawning of Love as the hitherto mildly misanthropic Maplethorpe comes to appreciate dear, slightly intellectual Ada, a do-gooder: she prevents a pregnant dairy maid from drowning herself and arranges a happy marriage; she redecorates a dungeon kitchen for Maplethorpe's long-suffering chef; she rescues nice Lucy Bolton-Mainwaring from a union with lecherous Lord Bolingstroke. And, to Maplethorpe's eventual amusement, Ada also ticks off two of his former mistresses. Still, Ada and Maplethorpe have not consummated their ""marriage,"" of course: they rein in their tweaks of love--until Ada is kidnapped by Bolingstroke. . . which leads to rescue, yet another Good Deed (a beggar boy reclaimed), and a pre-nuptial kiss (""Her spine tingled and she felt alternately hot and cold, her pulse erratic""). Inoffensive but flat.