This book is part of a series, also including Sleepless at Midnight, focusing on the four women of the Ladies Literary Society of London. In this story, the four ladies are all rather scandalised but titillated by the book they have just read, Memoirs of a Mistress, which shows some of the fun that women can have with the right lover. The heroine of this story, Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, is rather wistful about what she's reading as the love of her life, her husband Edward, died three years before. For Carolyn, life is beginning to continue again now that she's over the rawest days after Edward's death, but she knows she can't give her heart again.
Unfortunately for Carolyn, reading the book has stirred up her feeling of sensuality.
When she meets Edward's friend Daniel Sutton, Lord Surbrooke, she's reminded that she does find him rather attractive. Carolyn soon discovers that Surbrooke is keen to make her his lover; she knows he's just a normal rake with an aimless life, but his charm and warmth are appealing to a woman who's been widowed for three years. He doesn't have a heart to give away, she has reserved all her love for Edward; what could be the harm in a quick fling?
As the book progresses, both Carolyn and Daniel discover that there's more to the other than initially meets the eye. When women who have previously been Daniel's lovers start getting murdered, Daniel begins to realize his feelings for Carolyn might be more than his usual dalliance.
What I particularly liked about this book is the characterization of Daniel and the way in which he talks with Carolyn and interacts with his footman and other members of his household. He
is a far more complex character than initially portrayed at the beginning of the book, and much of the enjoyment of reading this story is discovering, alongside Carolyn, what makes him tick. In some ways it's a fairly simple story, focusing almost exclusively on Carolyn and Daniel's relationship, but this is no bad thing as it is a good read. Historical accuracy isn't always great, and the protagonists all use modern American word-forms at times, as is so common in American-authored historical romances, but these things aside it
is a very good read featuring an unexpected twist at the end with the 'baddie'.