A Mischievous Charade . . .
Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, is tired of her title and the responsibilities that come along with it. Enough with proper tea parties and elegant balls; what Harriet really wants is to attend an outrageous soiree where she can unleash her wildest whims and desires. But to attend such an event - especially if the event in question is Lord Justinian Strange's rollicking fete, filled with noble rogues and rotters, risqu� ladies and illicit lovers - would be certain scandal. That's why she must disguise herself . . .
Looking forward to a night of uninhibited pleasure, Lord Strange is shocked to discover that beneath the clothes of a no-good rake is the most beautiful woman in the room. Why is a woman like her risking her reputation at his notorious affair? And can he possibly entice her to stay . . . forever?
I must say that although I have struggled through James's last books (and am quite prepared to continue to get to Jemma and Villiers stories) I was pleasantly surprised with this book.
I am not a fan of the girls in pants storyline but here I was able to enjoy it because Harriet was actually having fun doing it too. It did stretch for a bit longer than it should in my opinion but the truth is that despite that I enjoyed it more than the previous two books in this series.
I do realise that part of that is because the main characters here were not overshadowed by the much more interesting secondary characters and so we had more time devoted to them. I was unimpressed with both Strange's motives for behaving as he did (what a waste of a good rake redemption story) and Harriet's motives for being as repressed as she was but the way it's written kept me entertained.
From what we find here I'm not sure Isidore will be an interesting heroine but her husband does seem rather intriguing so it's already sitting in my TBR pile. And I really hope that Jemma's and Villiers' stories will be worth it.