by Alana Clayton

July 2002
ISBN: 0-821-77102-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Just suppose you could talk to spirits! What would you do? Well the heroine of this charming Regency novel, Miss Vanessa Grayson, can do exactly that, and she turns her skill into a means of earning money with which to support herself and her sister. The members of the aristocracy are lining up to have their “ghosts” revealed – it’s a matter of pride... one must have more and better spirits than one’s neighbor!

Of course there are skeptics, chief amongst them Ellery Lawford, Lord Trent. His unwilling fascination is not with the spiritual world, but with Miss Grayson herself, a neatly turned out, intelligent young woman who sparkles nicely next to the dimwitted Lady Cornelia Burnett who is out to catch him!

This is a delightful regency tale with a twist – that of the supernatural! Although it sounds a little far fetched, it is well written to the point that it is easy to accept Vanessa’s ability – in fact there could have been more emphasis on her ghost-channeling abilities. Instead, we find ourselves in the midst of missing brothers, wayward sisters and that good old standby, the Hellfire Club.

Vanessa and Ellery are, for the most part, charming characters (note: heroes really shouldn’t be “peevish”, that’s for the chaperone/aunt/sister), and it’s easy to dive into life as these two are living it, challenging on one hand and luxurious on the other. I enjoyed my visit to this interesting time, Ms. Clayton’s settings are excellent, and the characters strong and interesting enough to forgive any minor plot inconsistencies.

A lovely trip back into a romantic age – if you’re a Regency fan, you’ll relish this book!

Reviewed in September 2002 by Celia.

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