cover image Everything and the Moon

Everything and the Moon

Julia Quinn. Avon Books, $7.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-380-78933-7

Quinn (Minx, Birthright) begins her novel in Kent, England in 1809 and skillfully depicts the innocence of love at first sight. The irrepressible chemistry between Victoria Lyndon, the vicar's daughter, and Robert Kemble, the Earl of Maccelesfield, is derailed by their fathers' obstinate objections to the match. When Robert encounters Victoria working as a governess seven years later, however, they must face painful memories. A minimum of Regency texture is employed in exchange for focus on often amusing verbal sparring in this poignant battle of the sexes. Victoria, at last, finds comfort in her work at a fine London dress shop, but soon becomes the target of Robert's strategies to win her back: wooing with pastries, a siege of protective attention and abduction to a cottage by the sea-which is no resort. To use the confectionery metaphor, this is a meringue-light fluff, but none the worse for it. (Mar.)