Dominique Forrester (nÃ‰e de la FÃ´ret), nobly born but penniless, has dyed her hair black in hopes of hiding her charms and has gone to hire out as a governess in York--where her employer fails to meet her coach, leaving her stranded. As there is no room at the inn, she must accept a ride to the next town with a passing gentleman. A terrible storm, their carriage overturns, and they are forced to spend the night together in a nearby cottage (circumspectly, of course). Much backchat follows. Though the gent in the scandalous, loaded Duke of Vidal, he doesn't touch Dominique; instead, he finds himself intrigued by her beauty, her mysterious past, and her go-to-hell line of patter. When it transpires that their night together has ruined her rep and chance of employment, he insists upon marrying her for reparation. The rest--how they come to love one another, how she is the toast of London society, and the various attempts upon her life by. wicked relations--may be taken as read. Though an excess of period slang may leave the reader ""moped,"" this is a spirited entry into the Regency romance sweepstakes, with more pizazz than some better-known runners.