cover image The Wyndham Legacy

The Wyndham Legacy

Catherine Coulter. Putnam Publishing Group, $19.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13878-2

Unexpected plot twists, witty dialogue and an engaging cast of secondary characters contribute to the charm of a new Regency romance by the author of The Heiress Bride . The Earl of Chase's illegitimate daughter Josephina Cochrain, nicknamed ``the Duchess'' by her antagonistic cousin Marcus Wyndham because of her precocious self-possession, unexpectedly becomes both legitimate and an heiress upon her father's death. His nephew Marcus receives the title but little else; Josephina inherits most of the money but will lose it all unless she weds her obnoxious cousin. The two protagonists are quite predictable, although Josephina at one point embarks on a course of action completely out of character, but Coulter surrounds them with memorable eccentrics, and the action never slows. Attempted murders, hidden treasure and a special secret of Josephina's known only to her faithful manservant Badger all ensure that this first volume in a planned trilogy creates plenty of situations for subsequent novels to explore. Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate. (Jan.)