THE VISCOUNT'S BAWDY BARGAIN
Boys will be boys and silly wagers will always be a part of their games. Nicholas Price, Viscount Somerton, head of the Dashers, accepts a challenge from a rival club, the Blades, to bring something extraordinary to "the table." The Blades have an elephant, but Nicholas brings a raritya virgin, the Reverend Culpepper's daughter, Willie.
But things don't work out as planned, and in the end Nicholas must try to salvage Willie's debauched reputation. Willie is secretly pleased that she will not have to marry a missionary, but going back to the Viscount's home is not her idea of freedom.
When the staff quits, it is up to Willie to run the household and help Nicholas win another wager and catch a wealthy bride. And what does she get for all her good deeds? Trouble.
How these two get themselves in and out of their predicaments is the charm of Connie Lane's (aka Constance Laux) light-hearted return to historical romance. The strong-willed heroine has her work cut out for her in teaching boys to be men. It's fun to watch this all play out, and though the pacing is a bit slow, readers will delight in this laugh-out-loud story. SENSUAL (Jun., 382 pp., $6.50)