cover image LADY IN WAITING


Kathryn Caskie, . . Warner Forever, $6.50 (350pp) ISBN 978-0-446-61424-5

In Caskie's far-fetched second Regency romance (after Rules of Engagement ), Jenny Penny, illegitimate daughter of an unnamed baronet, and lady's maid to the two fluttering Featherton sisters, strives for a life above her station. While wintering in Bath with her employers, she spends her slim earnings on "earbobs" and muffs in the town's most exclusive shops. But she also reveals great skill as an amateur chemist, mixing up gallipots of peppermint face cream for her employers. The ton's most exclusive ladies soon discover that this "tingle cream" can be used elsewhere, and thanks to an underground servants' network, Jenny finds her discretionary revenue increasing along with her mysterious reputation as Lady Eros. Then Lord Argyll, a lusty Scottish baron, discovers Jenny one day as she's modeling a dress for the Feathertons. The two ladies immediately seize upon a plan to match Jenny to the Scottish baron, to whom she's introduced as Lady Genevieve. Days ironing, evenings at balls and nights filling gallipots soon bring Jenny to the end of her rope. How will Lady Eros, Lady Genevieve and plain old Jenny Penny finally reunite for one happy ending? Those willing to completely disregard rigid English rules about social class will delight in the fairy tale answer to this question. Agent, Jenny Bent at Trident Media. (Jan.)