It's ``If I Were a Carpenter and You Were a Lady'' revisited in this long, romantic sigh of a novel by the author of Bygones and Forgiving and several others. Happily, the subject here seems to suit Spencer, as does the setting--White Bear Lake, Minnesota, a summertime sailing enclave for midwestern business barons and their families, circa 1900. Gideon Barnett, the commodore of the White Bear Yacht Club, presides over the lake from Rose Point Cottage, where his frosty wife and three nubile daughters picnic, party, and arrange their locks in Gibson Girl dos. Lorna, the eldest, isn't satisfied, however, by such vapid entertainments, and yearns for something more. When papa's yacht club loses the first race of a hotly contested three-year regatta, she convinces the commodore to hire a young Norwegian boatbuilder who currently works in the Rose Point kitchen to build him a better sailboat. But Lorna's got more than masts and keels on her mind. Indeed, she throws herself--budding breasts and all--at Jens, who of course can't resist, even though the dangerous liaison threatens his plan to open a boatyard and raise himself up in the world. Trouble ensues in the form of a bun in the oven for Lorna, separation from Jens, and incarceration at a convent. As always, though, true love will know no barriers... No one's ever claimed that Spencer is a stylist. Witness such oozings as: ``How could a young woman of eighteen sleep on a warm summer night when life was pushing at her bosom like a wing pushes at a chrysalis before it unfolds?'' Still, here, the author does take time out to develop the relationship between the two young lovers, and she sets her signature hot sex in an atmosphere of innocence that makes it all the hotter. So, all things considered: one of Spencer's best.