Pocket, Jun 200, 6.99
In 1816 an intoxicated Viscount Nicholas Pryce knows that the honor of his group of rowdies the Dashers are at stake to defeat their rivals the Blades who put down the gauntlet. The Dashers must come up with something unique quite shortly if they want to win 1000 pounds. Nicholas suggests they parade a virgin. His target is the daughter of the Reverend Culpepper. His group abducts Wilhelmina, show her to their opponents, and win the bet.
Wilhelmina sees Nicholas as an opportunity to elude a proposed bad marriage to her hypocritical father's chosen one so she remains in his bedroom over night. To his surprise, she refuses his offer of marriage, but accepts employment. As she disrupts his lifestyle, causing his staff to walk out in protest over his failure to do the honorable thing, they fall in love. However, can a commoner's daughter who has brought hookers and thieves into his home and a blue blood find happiness especially when she refuses to wed him.
This Regency is a fun tale that uses the decadence of aristocratic youth to spin the plot. The story line never takes itself seriously yet contains an important undertone dealing with employment opportunities for the poor. The lead couple is a delight and much of the cast adds depth though her dad is so obviously avarice he could have been a televangelist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner