The Viscount’s Bawdy Bargain
In Regency London, the Dashers and the Blades are clubs whose members are gentlemen of high rank and excessive leisure. When the Blades dare the Dashers to produce the most extraordinary item possible or forfeit 1,000 pounds, Nicholas Pryce, Viscount Somerton, decides that what’s needed to win the wager is a virgin. And he has the ideal virgin in mind: Wilhelmina Culpepper, spinster daughter of an evangelist preacher. The Dashers applaud his idea and abduct Wilhelmina. But once the Blades concede the Dashers have won, Nick discovers that Wilhelmina may be a virgin, but she’s no victim – and she has no intention of returning to her father’s strict rule and marriage to a clergyman she despises. To Nick’s initial dismay, Willie takes charge of his household and his financial affairs, which are in ruins. So Willie decides he must marry money, and begins the search for a suitable rich wife for the wayward Viscount….
Although the plot’s a bit far-fetched, the characters are engaging and the story is entertainingly told, with a cast of amusing secondary characters adding to the slightly risqué Regency fun.