Olivia Waite is a romance author, practicing feminist, and wide-ranging dilettante.
I have not read a classic frothy Regency like this in some time, and it was nice to get back to what I originally loved most in the genre. The plot is an absurd tissue of implausible events that exists only to help the characters sparkle; this would be a problem if the characters here weren't so much fun to watch. We have a stuffy-but-secretly-not-so-stuffy duke hero and his pleasantly mooching best friend, we have social-climbing villains and highwaymen-turned-coach-drivers and butlers with a penchant for games of chance; we have a surfeit of my favorite Regency trope: terrifying old ladies with gimlet eyes and secretly stalwart hearts.
And we have Emmaline. Oh, it's lovely to have a con-artist heroine who is shamelessly chaotic and charismatic and who never has to atone for her past to meet the hero's standards. She's bouncy and witty and completely frank about her weakness for handsome men in the sex department -- it's a combination that makes for pure delight.
It's not a perfect story by any means, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.