Lady Sophie York is set to elope—but with whom?
Sophie has no way of knowing that her fiancé, a dull but dependable nobleman, has injured his leg and can’t get up the obligatory ladder. Under cover of darkness and in disguise, he’s sent his best friend Patrick Foakes (younger twin brother of Alex Foakes, the hero of Potent Pleasures, 1999) in his stead to fetch her. Adventurous to a fault, the rakish and handsome Patrick ascends—but doesn't come back down. After all, Sophie is astonishingly beautiful, and one taste of her sweet lips makes him claim a second, bringing a change of heart to the befuddled Sophie. While waiting at the window, in fact, she’d been thinking it over and had decided not to elope with Braddon Chatwin, Earl of Slaslow. So Patrick seizes this golden chance to bed her—and, several weeks later, to wed her. Sophie’s French maman is furious. How could her only child spurn the Earl of Slaslow for a mere Honourable like Patrick? Well, her headstrong daughter has advanced ideas about love, and worse, an excellent education, which should prove useful when she and Patrick (just to make amends) scheme to fool the town by turning a pretty wench the jilted earl fancies into a semblance of a lady. And her education will prove even more useful when Sophie takes up the study of Turkish, hoping to accompany Patrick, an envoy for the Crown, to Turkey, where he must persuade the eccentric Sultan to become England’s ally against Napoleon. The story weakens as Sophie encounters a pair of villains masquerading as Turks, who threaten the rather silly Sultan with an exploding inkwell. The intrepid and intelligent Sophie, of course, saves the day, and Patrick falls in love with her all over again by the end of this lively and vividly written tale.
Sensual for a Regency, and genuinely fun.