by Jessica Benson

January 2005 Reissue
ISBN: 0-8217-7801-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

A shame that Jessica Benson is not a prolific author, as readers should be allowed to spend more hours reading her books and entering her regency world.

Calista Ashton is a bluestocking with no sense for fashion, no care for love, living in the country looking after her brotherís parish. The subject of a wager she soon draws the attention of Englandís most handsome rake - and a local squire and a London nobleman. Unfamiliar with flirtations Calista forgets her radical books and learns about kisses, midnight trysts and of being compromised.

Lord Stanhope is not looking for love, but for righting a wrong. Following his cousin Ossie, the culprit responsible for the bet, Stanhope expects to defend the honor of a radical do-gooder. Instead he finds himself pursued by marriage minded girls, engaged to his former mistress and falling in love with a spirited and not so dried-up spinster.

In this charming regency romp Jessica Benson introduces a large and colorful cast, providing all of the characters with their own unique voice. The authorís talent is in allowing the reader enough time with the supportive cast to care about them, in creating characters that come alive on the pages in all their diversity. And all that without losing sight of Tristan and Calistaís romance.

Their might be a couple historical inaccuracies and the purists will sure complain, but even they will have to agree Jessica Benson got it right in rhythm, tone and style. Lord Stanhopeís Proposal is a regency novel worthy of being compared to the best.

I highly recommend Jessica Bensonís debut release and will now impatiently await the re-release of her RITA award winner Much Obliged.

Reviewed in April 2005 by Kris Alice.

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