by Anne Gracie

November 2005
ISBN: 0-425-20680-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

When I discovered the first book in Anne Gracie’s series on the Merridew sisters, The Perfect Rake, I was thrilled to find another outstanding Regency author. My initial assessment has been validated by the second book in the series The Perfect Waltz.

Now that older sister Prudence is happily married, it is time for the twins, Hope and Faith, to begin their society debuts. Mirror images, both girls suffered under the brutal treatment of their grandfather, but Hope was a special target. Her left-handedness was a sure sign of the Devil, and she was beaten and her arm immobilized for days on end as her grandfather hoped to break her natural inclination. Freed from those awful days, Hope and Faith have begun to come out of their shells, and their beauty and gentle ways have entranced the ton.

Hope, in particular, has come to adore dancing. The freedom she feels on the dance floor brings her beauty to dazzling display. Her gentle and playful nature charms all who meet her. Even society’s black sheep, Sebastian Reyne is intrigued.

He should not even be entertaining any thoughts about the flighty Miss Merridew. His sisters need feminine guidance and he needs a solid, no-nonsense bride who is willing to take on their care. None of this emotional drivel, his marriage will be based on mutual respect and common goals. Why then is he drawn to Hope whenever she is in the room?

What could have been just another romance between two unlikely people is turned into a novel of serious depth. Ms. Gracie has touched on yet another of society’s problems and brought it to the forefront with compassion. The emotions of this novel run deep, and bring the reader a greater appreciation for her writing craft. I am looking forward to Faith’s story in the months to come.

Reviewed in October 2005 by Paula.

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