A simpering first Regency, involving the usual stylized treatment of love among the ton in Edwardian England. Bevan Gervase Timothy St. George Darwen, Earl of Coldmeece, Viscount St. Germain, Baron St. George of Harrow and Coldham, Baron of Ness, Lord Lands-owne, and ""holder of other minor titles and dignities""--but known to the reader primarily as ""Gervase""--decides, at age 35, to marry his wealthy young cousin, Lady Celia Darwen-Neville, 17. But another cousin, Lady Louisa Darwen, 23, is attractive, too, and slightly more dangerous than the childish, ringleted Celia--Louisa having been raised in the harem of the Turkish Grand Seraglio at Constantinople, due to a complicated set of circumstances. Now rescued from hennaed hair and kohled eyebrows, Louisa is also on the marriage market and is presented to Society with ""coz"" Celia at a joint ""come-out ball."" Louisa's sometime suitor, another Darwen cousin named Augustus Leslie Templeton (Gussie), handsome and 25, falls instantly in love with Celia, and Louisa kindly cedes the girl to him. Celia thus jilts Gervase, to the relief of Lady Caroline Darwen, Gervase's widowed sister-in-law, who has set her cap for him. But Lady Caroline falls prey to the charms of a fortune-hunting American cousin, Kennard Upshaw, leaving the risquÃ‰ Louisa to the jaded Gervase in the predictable finale. If only there weren't so many italics, and if only Celia didn't whine so constantly about having to marry cold, old Gervase, perhaps this attempt at a light period piece would have been more entertaining, less embarrassingly coy and leaden.