St. Martin's, Jul 2002, 6.50, 384 pp.
In 1812 England, though the daughter of an Earl, Lady Sarah Compton knows her family is ruined due to the bad judgment of her kind but now deceased father and the absolute idiocy of her brother Hugh believing that gambling away everything is his divine right. Needing cash to support his decadent lifestyle, Hugh demands Sarah snare a wealthy husband, but she thinks little of the idea especially when she reflects on her one disastrous season. However, Sarah does attend Lady Carrington's house party in Bedford not so much because of Hugh's orders, but as her last chance for fun before poverty becomes her life.
However, this is no rustic tea party as the aristocracy has come here for sexual games. Among the participants is Michael Stevens, the most notorious rake in the land. Her innocence unnerves him, especially when she insists he teaches her the art of pleasure. As they fall in love, an unknown enemy will do anything to insure that Michael fails to find the proof that he seeks.
This is an exciting erotic Regency romance starring two intriguing charcaters who in spite of the explicit scenes are typical of the sub-genre, i.e., the rake and the virgin. Still the story line grips the audience from the start until the final nude setting, as the lead characters are a dynamic couple battling for TOTAL SURRENDER. The suspense element adds tension, but the tale belongs to Sarah and Michael. Cheryl Holt turns up the heat with this enticing historical romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner