Esler's historical novels are very loosely tied to fact but this 18th-century mullion-rattler is pleasantly in the vein. Arundel, ""Lord Libertine"" is discovered, when this tale of character reformation begins, bouncing in bed with a barrister's wife. He meets his match when he bets that he can, within a month, seduce Lady Barbara, a cool, intellectual fancier of the French Revolution. Arundel pursues the passionate virgin to France. He has also been commissioned by the P.M. to rescue important papers presumably on their way to the French. The pair sojourn in a house of aristocratic perverts, are jailed, and escape the guillotine by the nick of their necks. Weightless but diverting.