cover image The Dancing Floor

The Dancing Floor

Barbara Michaels. HarperCollins Publishers, $23 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017764-5

A tangled garden maze serves as the entertaining setting for the latest romantic romp from Michaels (The Master of Blacktower). Frumpy but spunky American tourist Heather Tradescant's vacation in Britain is blighted by her parents' recent death. Hoping to fulfill her late father's dream, she tries to visit the 17th-century garden of Troytan House, home of businessman Frank Karim and his taciturn son, Jordan. Rebuffed, Heather finds a hidden entrance to the estate, but as she wanders through a bramble-thickened maze, she falls at the feet of the Karims enjoying an al fresco breakfast. At first hostile, the Karims soon prove more than hospitable, begging her to stay because they believe she's an horticultural expert. Heather does so because she is intrigued by the volatile family and their unusual social circle. They include the Betancourts (Lindsay, who has eyes for an uninterested Jordan, and her husband, Giles, who casts gazes at Heather); local merchant-mystic Jennet, whose Wiccan faith may hide something more sinister; and security expert Sean, who may be an ally or a problemDfor one of the circle is trying to scare Heather off. An unlikely object of desire, Heather attracts the men around her through her strong personality, lively wit and huge appetite. She and other well-delineated characters make this tale everything a romance reader can ask for. (Mar.)