Avon Mar 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
Her dad disowned his oldest daughter Beatrix Lennon when she was caught half-naked with a nude stud at a ball. The Ton winked at the male, but condemned Beatrix as a promiscuous woman. Her godmother Arabella takes Beatrix under her wings as a chip off the old block and the younger woman flourishes though as scandalous as ever.
At small party hosted by Arabella's friend Esme Rawlins, known for her scandals too, Beatrix meets Lord Stephen Fairfax, who has pushed for reform in Parliament for the past decade. Stephen is tired from his failures in politics, but wonders why the blatant Beatrix pushes a married woman at him. Though he wants to reject the licentious female and her shoving of Helen Godwin at him, he finds himself unable to stay away from Beatrix as the upright moralistic aristocrat and the wanton fallen woman find themselves falling in love.
This is not the Regency romance that your mom read, as the story line is more of a historical erotic tale that is fun to read due to the brassy, independent fiery women who openly embrace sex. The story line may turn off some fans due to the promiscuity of the female characters, but is well written and serves as a mechanism to display the gender hypocrisy of the age that still exists today. Not for everyone, James smashes barriers with her enlightened tale of love and sex among the early nineteenth century aristocracy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, a noblemen plagued with a henious case of ennui comes to the country to try and find some entertainment. Little does he know how much is waiting for him when Lady Esme Rawlings decides he would be the perfect father for her new child, the Countess Godwin decides he would make the perfect lover, and Lady Beatrix Lennox a perfect husband. This book is classic Eloisa James, with just enough back story and secondary characters to make the novel as a whole incredibly satisfying.
This report prepared by Meredith Griffin