Cathy Maxwell (et al.), IN PRAISE OF YOUNGER MENJo Be. , $6.50 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-451-20380-9

Four talented authors team up to celebrate the virtues of younger men in an enduring quartet of stories that historical romance enthusiasts are sure to cherish. Maxwell (The Marriage Contract) kicks off this anthology with "A Man Who Can Dance," a scintillating Scottish tale about a young doctor who must learn to dance in order to win the hand of the garrison commander's daughter. In the midst of his lessons, however, the doctor falls in love with his instructor. Royal's fans may recognize the heroine from "Forevermore," a 31-year-old widow and mother who appeared in Amethyst. Here she rediscovers the joy of intimacy in the arms of a young Scotsman. In Reding's (White Mist) heartwarming "Written in the Stars," an ancient curse threatens to prevent a young woman from marrying her childhood sweetheart, and unless she can circumvent the curse, she may have to marry another. Completing this collection, Beverly's (An Unwilling Bride) "The Demon's Mistress" spins a darkly erotic tale of a wealthy widow who saves a financially ruined younger man by hiring him to act as her betrothed for six weeks. Atmospheric and charming, these vignettes are delightful bedtime stories. (Mar. 6)

Forecast:With its sweetly suggestive cover, intriguing premise and combination of authors, this anthology will undoubtedly garner respectable sales. For many readers, this compilation will also prove to be a nice introduction to Royal, a promising new talent.