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Image:three and a half moon gifSonnet (Paperback), ISBN 0-7434-1883-2
They met at a ball or soiree or one of those ton things. He was a rake and a bit of a scoundrel. She was a more than proper miss, one who wrote an etiquette book for proper young ladies. Following his heart and disregarding all words of warning, he married a wanton who slept around -- a lot. Following her parents' orders, she married a much older man.

Book: Victoria Malvey, A Proper Affair Seven years later, abused and neglected by her husband, Cassandra Abbott finds herself widowed, destitute and at the mercy of her lusting lecher of a stepson. She knows she needs to do something, but what? Where can she turn for aid? Not to her parents. Wolves, baited by her father's inept gambling, howl at their door, and the family needs money as badly as Cassandra does.

Also free of matrimonial bonds, Lord Bryce Keene offers Cassandra an out. Following the death of his older brother, Bryce acquired a title and guardianship of his 16-year-old niece, Elaina. His niece needs guidance -- lots of guidance -- by a proper lady. Bryce proposes a marriage of convenience. Cassandra accepts after he agrees to pay her parents' debts.

Book: Victoria Malvey, Fortune's Bride

Cassandra and Bryce share a jaded view of marriage. The niece's behavior worsens. Everyone gets far more than they bargained for in the principals' original agreement, but I suspect Cassandra's and Bryce's discoveries about the true meaning of wedded bliss daze them past the point of wanting to overset the apple cart.

A Proper Affair sparkles with witty dialogue, intrigues with plot twists and introduces some truly well defined characters. Malvey writes from a wealth of research and deftly entwines it in the tale. Her scholarship doesn't intrude, but adds grace notes of interest and excitement.

Lovers of Regency romances will not want to allow this one to escape. A Proper Affair provides a fun read, one that shouldn't be missed. Grab it as soon as possible. You won't be sorry.

Patricia Lucas White

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