by Julia London

October 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4165-1617-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lady Phoebe Fairchild is living a terrible lie at Wentworth Hall. She is trapped in a vicious game of blackmail and until she fulfills her contract, she must continue the ruse. As Madame Dupree, a widow, Phoebe makes beautiful gowns for the Darby family as the two sisters prepare for their debuts. Life as a servant is definitely different for Phoebe, but she is coping best she can. There is one bright spot in her days after all: William Darby, Viscount Summerfield.

Will is an adventurer, but when problems force him back home, he goes knowing it is time to step into the role of Viscount Summerfield. Amidst the hardships of renovating Wentworth Hall, or playing peacekeeper between his siblings, and taking care of his ailing father, Will's only bright spot is Madame Dupree. Her easy laughter, charm, and sweet personality lull him into believing they can act on their growing feelings. But all actions have consequences as Will and Phoebe find out. What happens when the masks are dropped and Will and Phoebe are forced to face each other with only the truth between them? Will love remain?

Phoebe and Will are the star attractions in this story of lies and half-truths. They are both sweet, genuine, and caring people who are only trying to help family. While not a quintessential Regency Rake, Will certainly has his rakish moments with Phoebe as he sweeps her off her feet in the grand romance she has always wanted. However, this romance is tinged with both love and bitterness, making it all that much more enticing to the reader.

Phoebe is a dreamer who has been looking for Mr. Right for a long time. To finally find him amidst lies and intrigues is disappointing, but she is not one to roll over and let fate take over. Phoebe takes responsibility for their illicit union. She was certainly as engaged in the romance and lust as Will.

The secondary characters keep the plot afloat and add in plenty of family tension for Will. While I felt the ending was a bit rushed and not quite on par with the rest of the book, I would still highly recommend The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount. This was certainly a fine ending for the Desperate Debutantes series.

Reviewed in November 2007 by Sarah.

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