An Indecent Proposition
Signet, Apr 2009, $6.99
In 1812 Widow Caroline Wynn learns about the notorious bet over who is the better lover between two notorious rakes, best friends Derek Drake and Nicholas Manning. Everyone understands they need an impartial female who is intimate with both of them. Caroline, who vows to never marry again after a horrific first experience, sends the duo a challenging unsigned note in which she insists they prove to her that sex is not boring. The lords are interested although Derek expects to lose the wager as his heart is not in it. Instead he has fallen in love with his Uncle Thomas’ ward Annabel, but he broke her heart; she is engaged to nice Lord Alfred Hyatt.
At the inn Caroline explains her terms and they agree. Nicholas goes first for one week followed by Derek. Nicholas and Caroline meet at one of his remote estates. They talk and she explains she likes to read and hates her family which includes her father and her late spouse. She says she will never marry again as each agrees no strings. He kisses her and is surprised she lacks experience and is afraid. He asks her if she prefers to leave, but she says no. He kisses and touches her until she has the first orgasm of her life; he has a boner, but tells her he can wait until later. Instead they walk and talk. As they fall in love, Caroline wishes it was real, which panics Nicholas who leaves for London as it is now Derek’s turn.
This is a fun Regency romance as the concept of a wager is refreshing due to the reactions of the four fully developed lead characters. Although the villain is pathetic, the two romances are entertaining yet different.