by Jane Feather

April 2007
ISBN: 1-4165-2551-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lady Cornelia Dagenham feels suffocated in the country. She wants to take her children on a trip to London. Since the death of her husband Nell must deal with her domineering father-in-lawís interference in the upbringing of her children. It was her late husbandís expressed wish that should something happen to him that Nell would have exclusive management of their son and daughterís guardianship. Unfortunately, financial control is not in Nellís hands. Thus, the need to sit down with her uncle and father-in-law to discuss her plan. She thought all hope lost when they denied her, but then a friend of hers came into some property in London. Together with her friend Livia and sister-in-law Aurelia, Nell takes her children on a trip to the city, to Cavendish Square.

Initially the house is not exactly what the three women envisioned. It is in a state of disrepair with evidently no arrangements made to keep up its appearance. The servants remaining in the house suffer no offense at the conditions however, and fail to see the need for changes. Nell squares her shoulders and gets to work. A visitor arrives while she is cleaning which explains why the man mistakenly believes Nell to be a maid. Mistake or no, Nell is not amused. She is insulted by his condescending manner and feels compelled to teach him a lesson.

Harry, Viscount Bonham, is a code breaker for the Crown. He knows that a device of utmost importance is hidden in the house now occupied by three young women and their children. He needs to find a way inside to look for it so he tries to buy the house. His enthusiastic pursuit strikes Nell as suspicious. When his efforts prove unsuccessful Harry changes strategies. The women need a sponsor to enter London society. He promises the use of his familial rank to aid their endeavor. In so doing, Harry has an excuse to be in the house. To be close to Cornelia.

Neither mystery, danger, nor an affair were on Nellís mind when she planned her trip to London. Yet, it is exactly what she discovers. Nell is certain of one thing: this country mouse is never going to be the same.

A Wicked Gentleman charms the reader with its eclectic characters and satisfying story. The first in a new trilogy, A Wicked Gentleman showcases Ms. Featherís talent for flawlessly blending historic detail into romance. Jane Feather is proof that the historical romance is still going strong.

Reviewed in July 2007 by Rho.

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