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by Mary Balogh

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-33531-8
Publisher: Delacorte

The dashing Duke of Tresham wonders why he's so attracted to Jane Ingleby, the serving wench who nurses him back to health after a duel—until he figures out that her ladylike manner and accomplishments are the first clue to her real identity.

Scandal is nothing new to the handsome Duke, nor are duels. But his latest opponent had the effrontery actually to shoot Tresham in the leg—whereupon Jane happened upon the scene and let out a shriek that momentarily distracted all parties. Nonetheless, Tresham stood his ground and gallantly fired into the air. No matter that he deliberately missed: his brief affair with his opponent's wife isn't worth killing anyone over. Still, the bullet in his calf must be removed, and Tresham must lie abed for at least three weeks. Jane is immediately pressed into service and put at his lordship's beck and call, which beats working as a milliner's assistant. Tresham has no way of knowing that she's an earl's daughter on the run from scheming relatives who control her considerable inheritance, or that her dead father’s wicked brother had encouraged an unattractive and unsuitable young buck to pursue her—and attempt to ravish her—or that Jane whacked him with a thick book, knocked him unconscious, and is now under suspicion of murder (even though the young buck in question is very much alive—just humiliated and in hiding). But by the time the Bow Street Runners catch up with her and drag her back to the family estate in Cornwall, the Duke has caught on. He leaves his beloved London to rescue his lady fair—who's become much more than a mistress in the interim, of course.

A pleasant and agreeably sensual Regency romp, although nothing out of the ordinary.