A Mischievous Charade . . .
Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, is tired of her title and the responsibilities that come along with it. Enough with proper tea parties and elegant balls; what Harriet really wants is to attend an outrageous soiree where she can unleash her wildest whims and desires. But to attend such an event—especially if the event in question is Lord Justinian Strange's rollicking fete, filled with noble rogues and rotters, risqué ladies and illicit lovers—would be certain scandal. That's why she must disguise herself . . .
Looking forward to a night of uninhibited pleasure, Lord Strange is shocked to discover that beneath the clothes of a no-good rake is the most beautiful woman in the room. Why is a woman like her risking her reputation at his notorious affair? And can he possibly entice her to stay . . . forever?
Harriet, the young widowed duchess of Berrow, longs to escape the elaborate wigs and skirts of Georgian society and have a true adventure. Opportunity arises when friend Isidore wants to lure her long-absent husband back from his Far East explorations with a grand scandal. Accompanied by the trusty duke of Villiers, the two women visit the home of the scandalous Lord Strange whose home is (gasp!) regularly filled with actors and actresses. Though it's Isidore's plan, it's Harriet who flirts with real danger: dressed in breeches, she poses as Harry, a mama-protected young relative of the duke's. With her characteristic wit, James details Harry's bravado as "he" rides without a sidesaddle for the first time, learns to fence with the formidable Lord Strange and fends off the amorous advances of an actress. Harriet revels in the freedom offered by her male identity, but her heart remains traitorously female, especially in the presence of Lord Strange, who finds himself uncomfortably attracted to the beautiful young lad. James delights with seduction, surprise and humor on every page. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.