Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Naked Gentleman-Sally Mackenzie

The Naked Gentleman
Sally Mackenzie
Zebra, Apr 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780821780763

If the Ton figured on anyone to be scandal free it would be horticulturist John Parker–Roth who avoids London as if the plague beset the city. However, the one person who can get him to come to town for the season demands he does; John would anything for his beloved mom even face the unmarried horde and their general officer mothers.

Still even in London he spends as much time in the garden as he can. He saves Margaret Peterson from the unwanted assault of Lord Bennington although perhaps her biting amorous Bennie saved the day. Margaret shocks her would be rescuer when she asks John for a kiss; he responds in kind like a true gentleman honoring the lady’s wishes. However, by doing so he may have compromised her. Although she says there will be no scandal, her family and his mother push the gossip to the surface in order to force the couple to marry; even as the pair finds their passion for one another growing exponentially.

The fourth “Naked” romance (see THE NAKED EARL, THE NAKED MARQUIS, and THE NAKED GENTLEMAN) is terrific humorous Regency in which Sally Mackenzie cleverly uses hyperbole to tell her tale and showcase the foibles of the Ton. The story line is fast-paced jocularity as John wants a pragmatic wife who will literally play in the dirt with him until Meg teaches him what rolling in the dirt truly is starting with a simple kiss. The support cast is out of control adding to the overall amusing entertainment of a delightful historical.

Harriet Klausner

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