Regency fans will thrill to this superbly sensual tale of an icy widow and two decadent rakes. When the duke of Rothay and the earl of Manderville make a foolish and scandalously public wager over which of them is the more skillful lover, the firmly respectable and notoriously unavailable Lady Caroline Wynn makes the even more shocking offer to serve as judge. The trio all harbor complex secrets of their own, and as they discreetly begin the judging process far away from the keen eyes of society gossips, more than the lady's reputation and the gentlemen's pride are at risk from their growing passions. Balancing deliciously erotic encounters with compelling romantic tension and populating a convincing historical setting with a strong cast of well-developed characters, prolific romance author Wildes (""A Devil's Bargain"") provides a spectacular and skillfully handled story that stands head and shoulders above the average historical romance. ""(Apr.)"" .