cover image Truly


Mary Balogh. Berkley Trade Pub, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-425-15329-1

After a couple-dozen pages of sluggish narrative, Balogh (Heartless) hits a brisk stride with this romance set in mid-19th century Wales. Once branded the bastard child of the Earl of Wyvern, Geraint Penderyn returns home to Tegfan after a 10-year absence to find toll gates across public roads and many of his farmers living in squalor. As a ragged impoverished boy, he had been one with the villagers. Now, as the new Earl, he's met with hostility and resentment, especially from his childhood sweetheart, Marged Evans. To make things right with his people (and to win back Marged), he masquerades as a ""Rebecca,"" one of the bewigged, white-cloaked leaders of the 1842 riots against Welsh toll roads. Disguised as a man, Marged rides as one of Rebecca's ""daughters,"" and, as to be expected, falls in love with the man behind the mask. For readers who really want both history and romance in their historical romances, Balogh is truly a find. (May)