Feather gives an overview of Covent Garden, bordellos, pickpockets, Cyprians and the sights and smells of the place along with the aristocratic and not so aristocratic side of bawdy Georgian England in this nicely crafted start to The Blackwater Brides trilogy.

Jasper St. Sullivan, Earl of Blackwater, and his two brothers are stunned at the conditions of their reprobate uncle’s will. They will equally inherit his vast fortune only if they find, redeem and marry a fallen woman — before their uncle dies. When Clarissa Astley accidentally runs into Jasper he mistakes her for a pickpocket and prostitute — the perfect woman for the charade they will play. Though an innocent, Clarissa agrees to become his mistress. She doesn’t tell him about her search for her young brother Francis or her efforts to escape the clutches of their nefarious uncle. Their liaison grows into something more and an abduction and a rescue put an end to her uncle’s evilness. She and Jasper can begin their life together as husband and wife, for after all he did fulfill the terms of his uncle’s will. Or did he? (POCKET, Jul., 480 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond