A Wicked Gentleman

Written by Jane Feather
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson

This is the first book in Feather’s new Cavendish Square trilogy, which features three friends who come to London to escape the countryside. Lady Cornelia Dagenham has two children, and while she has custody of them following her husband’s death in battle, his father controls the purse-strings and expects her to do no more with her life than bring up his heir. Cornelia’s sister-in-law, who was widowed in the same manner, and Livia Lacey, who has unexpectedly come into a house in London, complete the trio. Livia is approached almost immediately by a prospective buyer of the house, who offers a sum far beyond its worth. Why? And why do people keep breaking in?

When Viscount Bonham, the prospective buyer, appears on the doorstep and mistakes Cornelia for a maid, the stage is set. The misunderstanding is put right fairly quickly, but the tension between them grows, as do other feelings. While I am not sure I am convinced by Cornelia’s willingness to make love with Viscount Bonham as soon as she does, I did find the story a delight. The espionage that Viscount Bonham is involved in accentuates current events. The conventions of London society, while highlighted less than in some other Regency-era novels, give just the right historical touch.