by Connie Lane

June 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-6286-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

When I came across The Viscountís Bawdy Bargain on the store shelf, my first reaction was a shudder. It is titles like this that cause some romance readers to cover their books or read only at home, keeping their pastime a guilty secret. Nonetheless, I flipped the book over, and became intrigued with its description. I try never to judge a book by itís cover. My decision was a good one.

Connie Lane has crafted a witty, fast-paced story of two unlikely candidates for romance. Nicholas Pryce, Viscount Somerton, is the epitome of sophisticated young men, with too much money and time on his hands. He runs with a fast crowd, called the Dashers, and spends his days (or rather nights) going from pleasure to pleasure, from Cyprians to gaming halls. He is unencumbered and likes it that way. No demands, no strings, no responsibilities, his days are marked only by the occasional wager from a rival social group, the Blades.

When one such ďfriendlyĒ bet places Nick in the spotlight, with embarrassing results, he vows not to lose another wager to the Duke of Ravensfield, leader of the Blades. When challenged to produce something no one else has seen in recent memory, Nick makes an outrageous suggestion, and then is required to produce the rarity - a virgin. But where does a rakehell find such a sheltered young woman?

Wilhelmina Culpepper desperately longs to escape the fate planned for her. Her father, an evangelist and missionary, is planning another trip to India, with Willie in tow. Once settled, she is supposed to marry an odious minister, Reverend Smithe, and settle into the a of impoverished servitude. When Nick and his friends spirit her away to win their bet, Willie is not only outraged, she is inspired. This episode can become her salvation.

With two extremely likeable characters, a multitude of supporting cast, and an ingenious plot, The Viscountís Bawdy Bargain takes the reader on a delightful trip down the road of romance. I loved Willie and Nick, their characters were fully developed as the story unfolded. The plot was clever, and without some of the usual scenarios found in Regency romance. So, look past the title, and add The Viscountís Bawdy Bargain to your TBR list today!

Reviewed in July 2003 by Paula.

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