From the first page
of the fourth and final book in the Essex Sisters series, James' unique voice and storytelling abilities shine. Not only does
she write marvelously smart, sexy
novels, she also creates believable characters whose circumstances readers relate to. (This time we even learn about the passionate affair of Mayne's sister.) These are books you take to your bed and to your heart.

Last of the unconventional Essex sisters, Josie is barely into her first season when she's dubbed "the Scottish Sausage." It's her damn corset that gives her the shape. With their guardian on his honeymoon, her sisters busy with their families and nothing left to lose, Josie abandons the corset, begins flirting and tries not to think of the Earl of Mayne, her guardian's best friend, who's mooning over his fiancee.

Then disaster strikes. At a horse race, Josie is nearly raped, and the only way her reputation can be saved is if she marries. But she won't wed her attacker, and that leaves Mayne, whose own engagement is falling apart. This highly unusual marriage of convenience is bound to set the town agasp, but it will also teach Josie and Mayne how to give and get Pleasure for Pleasure. (Avon, Dec., 416 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin