As the spare, Lord Harry Traemore can live his life very pleasurably until he and his friends are dubbed The Impossible Bachelors by Prinny. The Regent places a wager that the Impossible Bachelor who possesses the most delectable mistress will hold onto bachelorhood. Harry knows he’ll win — until his mistress deserts him for the fiancé of his childhood nemesis, Lady Molly Fairbanks.
At 13 Molly embarrassed his family and her act sent 19-year-old Harry into the military. Now it’s time for payback. Abandoned on the way to Gretna Green, Molly accepts Harry’s offer to be his “pretend mistress” for a weeklong house party. Molly is determined to win the title of delectable mistress. Her combination of innocence, naïvete and sensuality are nearly Harry’s undoing. But winning the wager brings some unusual consequences and an unforgettable ending to the wager. (ST. MARTIN’S, Nov., 432 pp., $7.99)