Staring across the crowded ballroom, Andrew Stanton recalled how he initially fell in love with the image of Lady Catherine, his best friend's sister; later becoming more enthralled with each and every newsy letter he shared with him. He'd waited years for the day when he could finally begin to court her. At long last, Lady Catherine, now a widow, was out of mourning and Andrew who in the intervening yeas had become a close friend of the family, was ready to pursue the object of his desires. He was fully aware that as a common man, his chances at wooing a lady of the nobility would be difficult, if not fruitless. Knowing that her marriage had been disastrous and that Catherine had vowed to never re-marry, did not deter Andrew from pursing the object of his desire. She now seemed to be a devout advocate and champion of the mysterious author Charles Brightmore, the author of the scandalously popular `Ladies' Guide' that had most men of the ton ready to commit murder should they ever discover his true identity.
Secretly, while rusticating in the country with her son Spencer, Lady Catherine had been only too happy to assist a friend with the publication of A Ladies' Guide. The guide had taken society by storm but not without it's detractors. Having endured the narrow mindedness and hateful comments directed at her son's affliction she'd hope to set nobility on its ear, never dreaming that her involvement would place her life in danger. After narrowly escaping an attempt on her life she was forced to leave the city with Andrew as her able bodied protector, a task he gladly took for the golden opportunity it afforded to begin his campaign of seduction.
This was another winner from the very talented Ms. D'Alessandro who writes lively intelligent and witty dialogs and characters that endure long after you've finished the last pages. While Andrew's wooing of Catherine was utterly romantic, and sweetly sensual, the endearingly honest loving relationship he established with 12-year-old Spencer and help in teaching him to deal with his physical limitations was simply outstanding. D'Alessandro also gives another interesting secondary character in Catherine's friend Genevieve, who as the true author of the `guide' would make a terrific sequel with a story of her own. Bottom Line - While this seemed to have a bit more serious tone than her customary belly laugh humorous romances, her dialogs and finely drawn characterizations along with an inspiring romance and seduction is totally charming and heart warming... definitely recommended! --- Marilyn Rondeau, for [...] ---