Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Courtesan’s Wager-Claudia Dain

The Courtesan’s Wager
Claudia Dain
Berkley, Feb 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425225806

In 1802 London, Lady Amelia Caversham perfectly meets the criteria for a duchess. She has excellent breeding as the daughter of a duke, no whiff of scandal, polite, and most important is that she has a sizable dowry. In spite of her assets, no male seems interested in her.

She decides she needs help from a professional when it comes to the males of the Ton. She asks notorious courtesan turned notorious matchmaker Lady Sophia Dalby to assist her. Dalby agrees feeling this will liven up a slow season. She arranges interviews of men who must meet her eligibility criteria to become Amelia’s husband. The Ton explodes with delight and men line up for the job. Alas only Lord Cranleigh refuses to make a fool of himself except wanting to protect his reticent younger brother from doing so. His plan is to seduce the twit only he finds the seduction too enticing to walk away from.

Once again though a secondary player, Dalby steals the show (see THE COURTESAN'S DAUGHTER and THE COURTESAN'S SECRET) in this well written amusing Regency romance. The frolic is fast-paced from the moment a desperate Amelia turns to the notorious one and never slows from that first encounter. Readers will enjoy this terific jocular caper as Cranleigh’s behaves as amusingly shameful as Dalby and Amelia do.

Harriet Klausner

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