Entertains, occasionally saucy, with a delightful, if somewhat wild cast.
Mind you I did think I'd fallen into the set of St Trinians with the antics of Harry's children. An out-of-control group of 'wild things', hell bent on wreaking havoc and careening all over the pages throughout chapters and definitely into Plum's heart, if not ours.
Harry, the Marquis of Rosse, and formerly a spy for the English Government and Plum (Lady Frederica Pelham) are an arranged marriage. Arranged by themselves that is, to meet their specific and rather particular needs. Even that has it's humorous side. Harry needs a mother for his raggedy bunch of children. Tormentors and monsters to a fine degree. Plum needs a roof over her head and a home for herself and her rather delightful niece Thom. She desperately wants a husband and a family and finds herself with all in no short order.
Years ago Plum has been unknowingly married to a bigamist, and then scorned by polite society. To earn a living she took the nom de plume of Vyvyan La Blue and wrote a very shocking book, The Guide to Connubial Calisthenics. This was considered so obscene it was banned. I imagine it as equivalent to, if not more daring than, The Joy of Sex I it's day. Plum gave wonderful sounding titles to the various positions, like Gallant Knight at a Blind Maiden's Mercy.
What a hoot this story is. I particularly like Juan the hot headed Spanish butler.
Thom her niece is a gem and Nick the burglar is great. But Harry is a whirlwind of activity. Knowledgable yet winning, he and Plum both get so much more than they bargained for.
With blackmailing, death attempts, the antics of the children and Plum's endeavouring to hide some of her past, all descends into mayhem that might or might not be sorted.
A NetGalley ARC