cover image Turkish Delight, Or, the Earl and the Houri

Turkish Delight, Or, the Earl and the Houri

Rosemary Edghill. St. Martin's Press, $15.95 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-312-00021-9

On September 1, 1819, in St. James's Church in Piccadilly, the 10th earl of Coldmeece marries a woman who has been raised in a Turkish harem. To arrive at this event, the author of thisrun-of-the-mill first novel, a Regency romance, puts some stock characters through familiar routines. Lady Louisa Darwen, who spent her orphaned childhood in a seraglio, returns to England trailing scandal for the social Darwen clan, who sponsor her coming-out. Using paints, powders, dyeing her hair and wearing diaphanous garments, Louisa is a tempestuous, independent debutante who causes genteel havoc among the London ton. Eventually she melts steely Gervase Coldmeece, a supreme catch, having run the gamut of romantic misunderstandings among the Darwen clan, as well as participating in a masked ball, a kidnapping and other diversions of the Regency genre. The subtitle of the novel is The Earl and the Houri. (March 23)