I have a bias towards liking whatever M. Hunter writes, and this book lives up to that bias. This is another Hunter regency that pulls me into the historical times of its setting, with no silly or TSTL characters, no jarring anachronistic language or behavior, no Big Misunderstandings or unbelievable situations to frustrate me. It has a tender yet sexy romance and a bit of mystery to add some spice to the story.
Hero Jonathan Albrighton is the illegitimate son of a deceased earl and is shunned by the present earl (his cousin) and other members of the family, with the exception of his uncle Edward. Heroine Celia Pennifold is the illegitimate daughter of a well-known courtesan and a father presumably of the peerage but unknown to her. At the beginning of this story, Celia's mother has died and left Celia all her properties, including a lot of debts. Celia moves into the small house in London she has inherited to find that she has also inherited Jonathan as a tenant of long standing in that house.
From there the story moves into uncovering mysteries from the past; for Jonathan it is to find out what part Celia's mother played in wartime spying and with whom, and for Celia it is to find out the identity of her father. Developments along the way turn them at times into allies and at times lead to some misunderstandings (not of the Big variety) and their romance develops beautifully at the same time.
Another enjoyable aspect of the book is that the main characters of books 1 and 2 play secondary yet important roles in this one. Not to mention the character who has been fascinating everyone since RAVISHING IN RED: Tristan, the Duke of Castleford. He's up to his usual debauchery but always manages to be like the Lone Ranger and save the day for everyone in spite of supposedly being sober only on Tuesday of each week. So looking forward to his and Daphne's story, which is coming in May 2011. For Daphne's sake, however, I do hope he is exaggerating his vices so he won't pass on any STDs to her.