Avon, Dec 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
Lord Buckstan enters the Conningsby home as if he owns it. His "visit" is to collect his gambling debt from winning at cards with Roland Conningsby. The stake was Conningby's teenage virginal daughter Elizabeth as his mistress. Eliza's older sister widow Cassie Marsten intercedes using an urn to hit Buckstan in the head and probably killing the odious aristocrat. Roland and his two daughters, nearly broke, flee to Aunt Philana's home in Scotland where card expert Cassie plans to win passage for the trio to America before she is arrested for murder.
The threesome stays at Ryecroft Castle where widow Lucien Hollier is also. Lucien and Cassie fell in love six years ago, but he broke it off out of fear of being a laughingstock due to the pathetic Roland as an in-law. As Cassie and Lucien play cards, their love rekindles, but she expects him to ditch her again so she plans to flee with his loot. However, Buckstan is in town seeking vengeance and his debt paid while Lucien knows he immaturely erred the last time he courted Cassie and this time will rectify his mistake.
Though Roland is so pathetic and Buckstan so odious they are cartoons of losers, ALMOST PERFECT lives up to its title due to the lead couple and her sister and his cousin. Fans will cherish Cassie, a delightful can do person, who must have inherited her mother's genes as she is no chip off her father's block. The audience will also hope that the nice Lucien comprehends that he loves her not the Ton or her father. Readers will enjoy this Regency romance just don't play cards with Cassie.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner