Rebecca Hagan Lee, Author . Jove $6.99 (304p) ISBN 0-515-13250-0

The second installment in Lee's Victorian-era, Marquess of Templeston's Heirs trilogy (after Once a Mistress) features Princess Giana May, heir to the throne of Karolya. Forced to flee her country after her parents are murdered in a coup attempt by her cousin Victor, Giana poses as a chambermaid and hides out in an abandoned Scottish hunting lodge. American Adam McKendrick has recently won the lodge in a card game and plans to transform it into a gentleman's resort, but he finds himself inexplicably drawn to his regal servant. Adam soon uncovers Giana's secret, but before they can further their relationship, they must find a way to thwart Victor, as well as the rules of royal protocol, in order to follow their hearts. Lee moves her secondary characters frantically around the board, but the story's changing landscape fails to disguise its underdeveloped plot and far-fetched characterizations. In addition, the only attraction between the protagonists is physical, which is hardly a sufficient basis for the lasting bond Giana and Adam supposedly share. Although Lee includes a brief but enjoyable appearance by Drew (the hero from her previous installment), it's not significant enough to please fans hoping for more of the same. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/14/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!