Avon, Oct 2004, 6.99, 448 pp.
In 1816 Bastion Club member Charles St. Austell feels good for some of his fellow founders who have found love and marriage, but also is impatient to find and marry the proper uncomplicated wife. With that in mind and the need to pick his own spouse without matchmaking interferences from well meaning mamas, Charles takes advantage of a Home Office assignment to learn if someone is smuggling secrets out of country near his home.
At his house, Charles sees Lady Penelope Selborne sneaking around the home. Unbeknownst to him, Penelope believes that her distant cousin Nicholas is working with the smugglers and seeks the evidence to prove her assertion. As she gets embroiled in danger, Charles tries to keep her safe until he realizes he has fallen in love with an improper complicated woman.
Though very similar to the previous tales (see A Gentleman's Honor) fans of Stephanie Laurens' rousing Regency romances will appreciate this latest romance as the lead couple competes to uncover the identity of who is giving away secrets to the smugglers. Charles does not believe Penelope meets his criteria for a wife although he cannot help being there as she faces perils because to his chagrin he loves her.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner