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Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!
She doesn't want to marry the young hellion—but who's to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancÉe.
Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?
In the final installment in her Four Sisters series (after Taming of the Duke), James tells the story of Josie, the only Essex sister yet unmarried. Nicknamed the "Scottish Sausage" by a rejected suitor, Josie believes that no man will ever seriously court her because her figure is too ample. When Josie is insulted at a ball, Garret, earl of Mayne, whisks Josie back to his home where his friendly tutelage on attracting a man results in a fleeting moment of passion. But Garret is engaged to a beautiful, genteel French aristocrat, having abandoned his former rakish ways. As Josie begins attracting various suitors and Garret wrestles with his feelings for her, an intriguing subplot has the ton speculating on the identity of the "earl of Hellgate," whose scandalous, anonymous memoirs have been making the rounds. James is skilled at bringing her characters fully to life, gracing Josie's feelings of inadequacy and Mayne's false sense of love with the believable, individual quirks that draw them to each other. Engaging humor and steamy romance give this captivating regency a fine polish.