I thought this was a fairly good Regency romance, though certainly not Chase's absolute best. I liked both of the main characters, and I enjoyed that the subplot of this one was a murder mystery, but I do think Chase has a tendency to sliiiiightly overplot her books (or at least not express the complexities of these subplots clearly enough), which made me a teensy bit confused about different characters' motivations as I was reading this. However, what Chase is a pro at is her tone -- full of sly humor and just sharp and witty and a delight. This isn't the book of hers I'd recommend people start with, but if they've read her more popular stuff, it's worth a look.
Loretta Chase is quite a talented author of historical romantic fiction, as demonstrated by her character, Esmond. However, this book fails to deliver a satisfying romance because the female protagonist, Leila, is not at all likable. As terrific as Esmond is, that's how much of a twit Leila is - a real shame. (For a perfectly matched duo, read her third book in this series, The Lord of Scoundrels. Dain and Jessica are amazing. That is the best book of this genre I've ever read.)
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