Warner, Mar 2003, 5.99, 352 pp.
Five years ago, the Oxies left the country for a season in London as befit their newly acquired earldom. However, the Ton never felt the Earl's continuous pranks were amusing and his wife's reception was even colder as she was dubbed the “Bumpkin Countess”. Scorned by everyone on their first trek into high society, their daughter Allegra is shocked when Oxie decides to return to London for the season.
In London their next door neighbor is the mysterious but accepted Armand Gauthier who decides he needs a wife. When he sees Allegra near a fountain filled with bubbly, he feels she may be the right one for him. He invites them to a ball he just decides to throw. Even he is shocked by the honesty Allegra displays towards him and others as she questions his motives while falling in love with her host.
This is an amusing Regency romance that contains the typical relationship between the young couple, but freshened up by Oxie. When the well-written story line focuses on the lead duo it is similar to many other sub-genre novels. When the plot centers on the not a couch potato Oxie and his cohorts pulling a caper readers will enjoy his thumping the Ton antics as the original Merry Prankster.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner