The Naked King
Stephen Parker-Roth, nicknamed the King of Hearts, is a wealthy man-about-town, with a reputation with the ladies. Lady Anne Marston is a red-haired bluestocking. Firmly on the shelf at age 27, she has no prospects and no hope of a home or family of her own. Worse, she is relegated to the role of caregiver for her half-siblings. Scandal brews when the biggest gossip in London discovers a very drunk Steven sprawled on the ground with Ann due to an altercation with a large and overly-enthusiastic dog. Steven does the gentlemanly thing and proposes marriage to Anne. Anne, though attracted to Stephen, considers the engagement a sham and expects him to cry off at the Season’s end. However, Steven wants Anne, not only in his bed, but as his wife.
This funny and fabulous Regency romp has a serious side with the discussion of rape. During a youthful indiscretion in a garden, the sweet and trusting Anne is violently accosted by the evil Lord Brentwood. She carries deep guilt and blames herself for the incident. Stephen helps her sort out the facts as well as her feelings. In the end the villain gets his just desserts, and love conquers all. Recommended.