cover image Well Pleasured Lady

Well Pleasured Lady

Christina Dodd. Avon Books, $7.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-380-79089-0

Set in England and Scotland in 1793, Dodd's (Once a Knight) Georgian romance is bawdy, brainy and ultimately beguiling. The heroine, Mary Fairchild, is a housekeeper who, like the fastidious butler of Kazua Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, strives to follow the code of a good servant: ""A competent housekeeper never shows emotion."" However, Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, the wealthy and handsome godson of her employer, tries to (and eventually does) subvert her best intentions--the source of much of the book's good humor. Using his knowledge of Mary's former days as a flighty member of the aristocracy and suspected murderess, he coerces her into posing as his betrothed while they search for his godmother's potentially damaging stolen diary. Together they confront comical fops and pompous villains in this thoroughly delightful and decidedly erotic romp. (Aug.)