Prim, plain, desperately virtuous Lady Mary Fairchild stared at the seductive gentleman and wondered -- did he remember the elements of the night they met? Surely not. In the ten years since, she had abandoned her youthful impetuousness and transformed herself into a housekeeper -- disguising her beauty beneath a servant's dour clothing determined to conquer the passions of the past.
But Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, did recognize her as a Fairchild, one of his family's bitter enemies. When he demanded her help recovering a stolen diary, she dared not refuse him. When he proposed they masquerade as a betrothed couple, loyalty forced her to agree. And when the restraint between them shattered and pleasure became an obsession, Mary had to trust a powerful man who could send her to the gallows ... or love her through eternity.
Set in England and Scotland in 1793, Dodd's (Once a Knight) Georgian romance is bawdy, brainy and ultimately beguiling. The heroine, Mary Fairchild, is a housekeeper who, like the fastidious butler of Kazua Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, strives to follow the code of a good servant: "A competent housekeeper never shows emotion." However, Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, the wealthy and handsome godson of her employer, tries to (and eventually does) subvert her best intentions--the source of much of the book's good humor. Using his knowledge of Mary's former days as a flighty member of the aristocracy and suspected murderess, he coerces her into posing as his betrothed while they search for his godmother's potentially damaging stolen diary. Together they confront comical fops and pompous villains in this thoroughly delightful and decidedly erotic romp.