Tall, dark, and handsome, the heir to the Earl of Hargate, Benedict Carsington, is known for his impeccable manners and good breeding. Benedict knows all the rules and has no trouble following them - until Bathsheba Wingate enters his life. Bathsheba Wingate belongs to the rotten branch of the DeLucey family: a notorious bunch of liars, frauds and swindlers. Small wonder her husband's high-born family disowned him. Now widowed, Bathsheba is determined to give her young daughter a proper upbringing. Nothing and no one will disrupt her plans. Then Bathseba's hoyden daughter lures Benedict's precocious nephew into a quest for a legendary treasure. To recover the would-be knights errant, Benedict and Bathsheba must embark on a rescue mission that puts them in dangerous, intimate proximity. Fortunately, Benedict is in perfect control - despite his mad desire to break all the rules. Perfect control. Really.
In the crowded field of Regency romances, Chase's work (The Lion's Daughter) is distinguished by its ironic tone, witty writing and narrative drive; her latest is no exception. Benedict Carsington, the Viscount Rathbourne, has the reputation of a perfect gentleman, which in 1821 London society means controlled, haughty and above reproach. By contrast, Bathsheba Wingate is about as disreputable as a Wingate gets, having been born to the notorious DeLucey branch of the family, a "completely untrustworthy" bunch who have "made themselves famous for their scandals." Widowed by a disinherited man, Bathsheba struggles to make ends meet and to provide every opportunity for her strong-willed daughter, Olivia who, much to her mother's dismay, absconds in search of buried treasure, accompanied by Benedict's nephew and informal ward. Drawn to each other from the moment they meet, Bathsheba and Benedict strive to suppress their desires as they chase the little rascals right into the pristine stronghold of the disapproving Wingates. Readers will relish the loosening of Benedict's perfect control and the endearing, dry humor with which he and Bathsheba confront their inevitable downfall as well as their satisfying redemption.