To Pleasure a Prince
In this second installment of the Royal Brotherhood series, the socially adept Lady Regina Tremaine encounters Viscount Draker, the Prince Regent’s (fictional) illegitimate son. Her brother Simon, Duke of Foxmoor, is courting Draker’s sister, whose sire might be but probably isn’t “Prinny,” England’s future King. Even though “the Dragon Viscount” reportedly forces himself on females in his dungeon, Regina and her chaperone cousin blithely set forth from London to convince him that the duke is a suitor worthy of his sister. Draker bargains with Regina: if she lets him pretend to court her for one month, then her brother may court his sister. Draker, unkempt and unshaven, subsequently appears in London where Regina, who has turned down eleven marriage proposals, is known as La Belle Dame Sans Merci. When her association with a cleaned-up Draker becomes compromising, the couple find themselves at the altar.
Post-marital conflict takes the form of minor deceptions and predictable misunderstandings. Jeffries provides Regina with an interesting and unusual disability but fails to mine its potential. After numerous scenes of interrupted foreplay comes a consummation devoid of emotional revelation or connection. The author’s style is lively and her pacing never flags, but the novel reveals a limited sense of period and shallow characterization.