Blair (The Side of the Angels, 1992, etc.) portrays three very different kinds of women in this stock historical romance featuring some better-than-average character depictions. The women are the clear focus of this transcontinental, early- 20th-century tearjerker in which a trio of women who have little more in common than sharp intellects fall desperately in love with one questionably worthy man. Miranda Cunningham, a New York society wife whose husband Paul is a self-absorbed archeologist, is glad to take her niece Cynthia along on her trip to London to meet up with Paul after a long separation. Cynthia's father Hobart, the despised head of the Cunningham family, wants Miranda to find Cynthia a suitable--preferably titled--husband abroad, and although Miranda despises Hobart, she loves the quick-minded albeit dreadfully spoiled Cynthia. Aboard ship the two ladies meet Kitt McAllister, an independent single woman determined to see the world for herself and entirely unconcerned that she hasn't yet met the right man. Enter Steven James, a recently widowed, charismatic American destined for great things. Steven is instantly smitten with Miranda, who returns his admiration, but Cynthia and Kitt are formidable competition, and, after all, Miranda is already married. Passion and heartbreak ensue, in rapid succession, for all three women; secondary characters--like the stunningly handsome, secretly homosexual Lord Walford, the kindly but slightly dull Count d'Yveine, and the worldly-wise Lady Burdon--hover in the background observing Miranda, Cynthia, and Kitt as though the three were performing on stage. Eventually, all our heroines are thoroughly initiated into the true ways of love, with a conclusion that will surprise only the dimmest of readers. Pleasurable, nutrient-free fluff . . . but plenty of fun, and Blair stereotypes only her male characters in what is--though still a flaw--a rather satisfying twist.