Chelsea Fergusson, daughter of the impoverished Earl of Dumfries in this 18th-century romance, foils an unwanted marriage to the wealthy but loathsome Bishop Hatfield in an unlikely manner: she makes herself unacceptable by losing her virginity to London's leading rake, Sinjin St. John, Duke of Seth. When Chelsea becomes pregnant, her indignant father and brothers abduct Sinjin and forcibly wed the two, then separate them and imprison him. This sets off a series of escapades that climax in Sinjin's rescue by a band of desert bedouins led by an American Indian. Can the new duke and duchess now find bliss in licentious London? It hardly matters. Sinjin leaves to buy Arabian horses in Tunis, where he is captured by an evil Bey. Chelsea determines to storm the Barbary coast and ransom him. . . . but all ends well in this rollicking tale, which proves to be as robust, sensual and adventurous as its protagonists.
This a really sexy book, but most of hers are. This one is great.
Enjoyable, especially if you like women who can compete with the guy (keep him on his toes). A bit perhaps of everything thrown in (makes sense although by the end may leave you feeling the author picked all their favorite attributes/plots points of other romance novels and put them in one) - although I suppose neither main character not wanting to get married is different than usual! So I recommend it, its a nice read - not the best book of the century, but definitely readable and good.
Hot. Great Susan Johnson book. Lots of action.
Very detailed story, a little too much detail. Not as steamy as I had hoped, but a decent read.
A lot of sex surrounded by a very long and drawn out story with an unlikeable hero and immature heroine. To the end of the book the hero has sex with other women (although at the end there are some mitigating circumstances). Guy is a total man-whore which is never really addressed (how does he not have VD?), her father is a jerk and a gambling addict, also never addressed. I get that Susan Johnson is writing a story that is intended to reflect the times (gambling for a living, lack of fidelity were common among the Ton). But while Johnson conveniently sticks to convention as a way of not having to resolve past behavior, she flouts it when she wants a virginal young "lady" to sneak off and have sex with a stranger, ride jockey in a horse race, or have regular, unbridled sex without any uncertainty or conflicted emotions. It reminded me a bit of No Gentle Love (without the slapping and marital rape) where things just keep going wrong and wrong and these people should hate each other and you kind of wind up hating them. These books may be written around the same time (early 90's) and perhaps it was just a trend to have these kind of epic generally unhappy stories.
An alright romance although the plot was a bit improbable and gets worse.
From the back cover...
He was the most profligate rogue in London, but Sinjin St. John, Duke of Seth, had never met a lady who could bring him to his knees...until Chelsea Fergusson slipped into his carriage, begged him to grant one small favor-and forever changed his life!
He tried to act the gentleman with the delectable minx, but Chelsea needed the rake in him to save her from marriage to a man she didn't love. When she moved impulsively into his arms, desperate to persuade him to help her, Sinjin felt his pursuit of pleasure and his passion for his racing stable pale beside his sudden fierce longing to possess her.
Swept by sensation and an outrageous wager into unexpected ecstasy, Chelsea lost her heart to a man who vowed he's never be trapped into marriage-not even for love. But undaunted by the challenge of seducing Sinjin into admitting he wanted her, Chelsea dared him to satisfy his hunger-all the while insisting she wanted no promise of always. Could a spirited vixen who trained and secretly raced thoroughbreds rein in the most eligible bachelor in England?