Dell, Feb 24 2009, $6.99
In 1818 Widow Lady Jane St. Giles enters the notorious gentlemen’s Club that welcomes couples. Run by Mrs. Brougham, Jane is a rarity as an unescorted lady of quality, but though she is prim and proper, she risks the scandal in hopes of finding her best friend Lady Delphina Treyworth who has gone missing. Del’s spouse insists his wife ran away with another man for France. Jane believes Treyworth is a liar and abuser. She blames Del’s brother Christian Sutcliffe, Lord Wickham, for fleeing overseas while his sister was forced into an odious marriage. Inside she is shocked by the depravity she witnesses until Christian becomes her escort; she was unaware that “Lord Wicked” is back in London.
As they work together to find Del, Christian feels guilty that he was not there for his beloved sister when she was forced to marry by their detestable father and Jane fall in love. Each fears for Del’s life as increasingly the evidence they find inside the Club points to foul play since other women have been murdered. As they continue their desperate search, they learn of four special club members whose abuse goes beyond the depravity of the normal couples who belong.
THE CLUB is an engaging erotic Regency romantic suspense starring two individuals who were in love as battling teens and remain in love as adults, but though they share the common goal of rescuing Del, they also remain combatants. The story line is at its best when a shocked Jane sees the goings on inside the Club. The investigation into the disappearance seems too easily resolved, but sub-genre readers will relish this page turner with a terrific final twist that is in the audience’s face, but most if not all will not see it coming.