Avon, Feb 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1830 Hampshire, when her father, a renowned antiquarian dies, Daphne Wade replaces him at the Roman excavation of Trimoire, England. She will repair the artifacts and sketch the items for a catalogue. Her employer, Duke Anthony Courtland finds her work exemplary, but does not see her beyond that of an artistic drone and definitely not as a woman. On the other hand Daphne dreams of Anthony as her GUILTY PLEASURES.
However, when Daphne overhears Anthony disparage her as a woman to his sister, she decides to resign and accept his sibling's offer of a season. Anthony obtains Daphne's agreement to remain as his archivist for one more month, but also informs her that he plans to change her mind about leaving. However, soon he wants her beyond a dig as he falls in love with his formerly mousy employee. Though she has doubts about his feelings, she has loved him since she first saw him shirtless at the excavation site.
The cast makes the story line hum as this is a delightful group especially the lead couple and his sister. Though the change in Daphne seems unreal, readers will root for her new found feistiness that soon has Anthony reconsidering the mouse that roared as a desirable woman. Regency romance readers will find GUILTY PLEASURES quite pleasurable.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner