While I enjoyed the book's predecessor in the Rothwell series (Rules of Seduction), this one was a stinker. Had difficulty finishing. The book gets off to a very slow start, picks up speed and a bit of interest toward the middle, then peters out to a very disappointing end.
The heroine ruined the book for me. While the book was set in victorian times, the heroine, Phaedra Blair, was straight out of the 1960's. She was an early feminist was was stridently opposed to marriage, though she was a proponent of what she called "free love." She was the illegitimate child of a former MP and his lover, an accomplished histrorian and philosopher (for a woman during victorian times) . She seeks to continue her mother's lifestyle and experiences little personal growth during the book.
I was disappointed with this particular Madeline Hunter tale.
The characters were flat and a bit too eccentric for my tastes and the plot was as bland as the characters. I suggest you try another of her books - she normally produces a great story, but this was lacking.