Avon, Dec 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
The oldest of six sisters, Lara Darling has no plans to marry. However, her deceased grandmother, in her will, demands she go to London for a season to marry. Lara was ready to ignore the request until Nanny L dared her to find a wealthy spouse in one season without a dowry. Unable to pass on a dare, Lara agrees to go to London.
To help Lara, grandma left her a guide diary to navigate through high society. However, unable to resist a dare from her coachman, “Baron” Griff Hallsbury she performs a driving feat only an expert could perform. Soon rumors and bets abound about a Mrs. Hastings who some members of the Ton believe is a better driver than the current champion Griff. As she and Griff fall in love, she plans to defeat him when they meet in a one on one race.
Fans of Regency romances will appreciate this delightful charmer starring two brisk intriguing protagonists. Griff is a fallen aristocrat struggling to make ends meet; Lara is a gender bender yet mindful of McFly in Back to the Future with their respective reactions to a dare (or in the latter's case chicken). Her skills with the whip seem stretched even if she is talented because experience is vital and it is doubtful she had many opportunities. Still, readers will take great delight in her challenges of macho male domination.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner