The constraints of quiet widowhood have become too much for Lady Caroline Pearson to bear—especially now that her brother-in law has idiotically, and illegally, gambled away her house. Boldly, she confronts the new owner in person. But not only does the dashing rogue, James Ferrington, refuse to return Caroline's deed, he tries to take scandalous advantage of her as well.
Sheepish and repentant, James arrives on Caroline's doorstep to make amends— unaware that the young widow and her eccentric aunt are intent on retaliation. James merely meant to seduce a bewitching minx and have done with it—and, suddenly, he's a kidnapped prisoner in Caroline's cellar. But most shocking of all, James realizes that he has no desire whatsoever to be free—for the audacious Caroline has inflamed his senses, destroyed his reason . . . and completely captured his heart.
When the deed to her house is gambled away by her dissolute brother-in-law, Lady Caroline Pearson appeals to the new owner's sense of justice and requests the return of her home. James Ferrington's senses are definitely affected by her appeal, as this Regency period Cinderella story, complete with four eccentric godmothers, careens from seduction in a carriage to missed communications, slapstick physical altercations and the playful kidnapping of Ferrington. A series of scandals that seem too easily forgiven by rigid Regency society complicates already convoluted proceedings, while Caroline and James spar in lightning mood changes. Maxwell substitutes this whirlwind of activity for real character development and an abrupt end leaves the reader unsatisfied. This energetic romp misses the mark but entertains along the way.