Lady Sophia, the Countess of Dalby and a former courtesan, arranges for her daughter, Lady Caroline Trevelyan, to marry the Earl of Ashdon by buying up his debts. But Caroline refuses to wed a husband who has been "purchased" for her and announces she intends to become a courtesan, instead. Caroline soon regrets her naïve decision, but the damage is done-until her charmingly manipulative mother (the real heroine here) lends her considerable expertise to the situation. This cleverly orchestrated, unconventional romp through the glittering world of the Regency elite-both admirable and reprehensible-is filled with secrets, graced with intriguing characters, laced with humor, and plotted with Machiavellian flair. A joy to read, it ends with a hook for a sequel involving the remarkable countess herself. Readers will be waiting. Dain (The Fall), an award-winning author of historical romances, lives in North Carolina.