Rake's Progress

Marion Chesney, Author St. Martin's Press $12.95 (169p) ISBN 978-0-312-00674-7
The fourth volume in Chesney's Regency romance series (A House for the Season pits the libertine renters of the seasonal house on Clarges Street against a beautiful but moralistic spinster in a nearby residence. Followers of the series are acquainted with the colorful retainers, led by the butler Rainbird, who constitute the below-stairs ""family,'' and who cope with the antics of their ever-changing employers. This time, rich, womanizing Lord Guy Carlton and his buddy, bent on erasing memories of their experiences in the Napoleonic wars, throw wild parties in the house. The butler disapproves but sees an opportunity for ``a good woman to reform a rake'' by bringing together the dissipating lord and Miss Esther Jones, a prim beauty who keeps an open Bible on display in her forbidding parlor. Predictably, the reformer's role is reversed; Esther succumbs to the now erstwhile rake, as Chesney once again adroitly manipulates the floating upstairs population that keeps the downstairs on its toes. (August 17)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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