The Lady and the Libertine
Lord Edmund Waite was everything that Lady Mary Gregg despised in a man. He was lewd, lascivious, mocking---the most notorious and successful rake in the realm. Happily, Mary had nothing to fear from this lord of libertines. A bluestocking like her could never tempt a man whose taste ran to pretty playthings for his pleasures.
How startled Mary was to find herself the object of Lord Waite's determined desires. But even more surprising was her reaction to his shocking advances. How could she remain a lady with this man who knew so well how to make her feel like a woman.
To my eternal surprise, this is a traditional romance and not a shorter version of a historical. Why do I begin by saying that? Because it needs to be said, I think it’s the most interesting feature of the book – the hero and heroine having sex at the beginning of the book has a tremendous impact over the way their relation develops throughout the story.
Usually I am not that fond of reading about sex scenes at the very beginning, especially when we’re talking about the Regency period and considering that in most books the hero and heroine meet for the first time at the beginning of the story. How can it ring true that the heroine would be that much sex starved to be willing to have sex with a stranger? In 1800 something? Or am I too narrow-minded?! Okay, nevermind that, Mary Balogh sometimes does this kind of plot, and even if I don’t like the excuse she used (heroine terrified of storms finds only one way to fight her fear and that is through sex!!!!! yep, pretty unbelievable), the fact that there was sexual intercourse between hero and heroine makes for a very special developing of the story.
For example, their dialogues are simply great – in my opinion, the best asset of the book. And they couldn’t have been so open and free in speaking if they haven’t had that scene. Another example are the hero and heroine themselves. As said in the blurb, they really are different, at least outwardly. There would have been little chance for them to begin a relation if it weren’t for that particular sex scene. And because it happened then it rings true that Edmond could try to persuade Mary, even harass her a little, just because he wants their affair to continue – they were after all, very compatible in bed.
These were the goodies… sadly there are also some parts that, even if I did not dislike totally, they were a little boring. Like the theme of the rake who is not actually a rake, or the hero’s conflict with his family that gets solved in the end. They were not badly written, but by the time I read the book, I had already read some other great books by this author with these particular themes.