Bantam, Dec 2003, 5.99
In 1831 King William sends Adrian Burchard to bring Sophia Raughley back to England though she feels her home is in Paris after eight years there. However, with the death of her estranged father, Sophia inherits the Duchy of Everdom. This means among other things she is considered now a key political person because she controls several rotten borough representatives in the House of Commons including her escort.
Adrian first meets Sophia when she is almost unconscious during an orgy. An artist stud that she sponsors slipped her a knock-out drug so that he could have sex with her even if she is out cold, but Adrian stops him. Taking advantage of her claim that she is married, Adrian says he is her spouse and demands that her sponsored artists must stay away from her. Adrian forces Sophia to return with him, but quickly finds himself in love with a woman he thought was a crazy nymphomaniac. She falls in love with her escort who she thinks is a pawn of the rich and famous starting with Wellington.
As she did with THE SEDUCER and THE SAINT, Madeline Hunter provides her audience with an engaging historical romance that uses historical tidbits to bring alive the era and to enhance the lead couple, especially their relationship. Once Adrian arrives on the scene with his first impressions, the novel moves rather quickly forward as the twosome argue over just about everything except love. Madeline Hunter provides a delightful tale that will please her myriad of fans who can look forward to a sinful encore.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner