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Lady Be Bad: The Merry Widows Series Mass Market Paperback – August 7, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Merry Widows
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451221915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451221919
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As far as John Grayson, Viscount Rochdale, is concerned, there isn't a woman in London he can't successfully seduce. So when Lord Sheane poses the challenge to find one female immune to his legendary charms, Grayson immediately accepts. That woman turns out to be Grace Marlowe, an eminently proper bishop's widow who is dedicated to charity and good works. Melting the widow's icy reserve proves to be delightfully challenging, but what begins as a simple wager soon becomes something much more complicated as Grayson realizes that he is falling in love. Hern's signature richly nuanced characters, wickedly subtle wit, and elegantly sensual style are in place in the third book of her superbly entertaining Merry Widows series. Charles, John

About the Author

Candice Hern lives in San Francisco in a house cluttered with African violets, orchids, Regency period antiques, and mountains of reference books. She visits England annually for inspiration. When not escaping into the world of Regency romance, she works in marketing for a software company. This is her sixth Regency romance novel. Readers may contact her at or visit her web site at

More About the Author

Candice Hern is the award-winning author of historical romance novels set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques and fashion prints of the era. She travels to England regularly, always in search of more historical and local color to help bring her books to life, and prides herself on the detailed research that goes into each novel. Her books have won praise for their "intelligence and elegant romantic sensibility" (Romantic Times) as well as "delicious wit and luscious sensuality" (Booklist). Candice's award-winning website ( is often cited for its Regency World pages, where readers interested in the era will find an illustrated glossary, a detailed timeline, illustrated digests of Regency people and places, articles on Regency fashion, research links, and much more. The website also provides readers with more information on all Candice's books, including excerpts and a look "behind the scenes" of each novel. You can also find Candice on FaceBook and Twitter.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Misuzmama on August 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Debauched Libertine and prolific gambler John Grayston, Lord Rochdale, knows that there is not a woman in London that he can't seduce. He's known for his prowess in the bedroom and the countless women he's had, even bringing some to ruin. It is simply a fact is that no one can resist the handsome devil's charms. So when a sceptical friend decides to put that theory to a test, Rochdale is more than willing to accept the wager especially when the prize is a racing horse he's had his eye on. It doesn't matter that the object of his seduction is the prim bishop's widow who despises him. Some seductions take more time than others and he is determined to get past this lady's defenses.

Taught by her famous bishop husband to repress all wanton urges, widow Grace Marlowe is unnerved when the scoundrel's attentions seemed to be focused on her. Like a predator, Rochdale slowly circles his prey. Bit by bit he breaks down Grace's virtuous walls with a look here and a subtle touch there. But she is not fooled. There has been more than one woman who has been cast aside and ruined by this libertine and Grace is not about to be the next. She simply must remind herself of her late husband's moral teachings.

But how long and how much can a lady really resist? And how far will a man go to win a wager and get this lady into his bed? Temptation is a powerful force. And when the Hero/Heroine true nature is finally revealed who exactly is the seducer; the wicked one?

Simply one of the best reformed rake books I've ever read. Rochdale is the ultimate no-good deliciously handsome scoundrel that every historical romance reader loves. Thankfully not as dark and cruel as some. He's the proverbial bad boy that doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By avines on August 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i've truly enjoyed this 'merry widows' trilogy. in order:

in the thrill of the night
just one of those flings
lady be bad

LADY BE BAD features a love story between a jaded 'duke of slut' and a physically and emotionally repressed bishop's widow. john grayston, lord rochdale, is a true rake. he's a professional gambler who lives a debauched lifestyle which includes intimate relations with many women and he's unapologetic about it. he has even ruined a debutante or two (according to the rumors). one of his colleagues challenges the widely accepted belief regarding rochdale's prowess in bed, and bets him he cannot bed the bishop's widow, known for her pious nature. rochdale accepts the wager and the seduction begins.

grace marlowe was taught by her late husband, the bishop of london, that giving in to one's emotions or desires is sinful. he had an image to uphold and therefore, grace was expected to put up an emotionless front at all times. because of this, she has become an expert at denying all of her urges, sexually or otherwise. so when rochdale begins following her with his smoldering eyes, she's put out of sorts.

please note that their first meeting actually takes place in the first book of the series, IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and actually sets up the very beginning of this story where they find themselves together alone. i think it's important to read that book first so that the reader can better appreciate the differences in the hero and heroine and the challenges they will face as they find their way towards each other.

i loved the fact that the hero did not change his stripes immediately. for most of the book he was unrepentant. the exposing of his more sensitive and caring nature takes place in a believable manner.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on August 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The basic premise of the story -- the Libertine accepts a wager to seduce the Bishop's Widow in order to win a coveted horse --could have been so much better.

A little over 300 pages, a quick read in all, there wasn't much depth to the story. I was unable to suspend my belief long enough to be swept away. How could a young woman who had been married to the Bishop of London, a vicar's daughter, succumb so quickly to the temptations of a known reprobate? This plot should have been filled with angst and longing; it needed to be more playful, a ride filled with pitfalls, naughty even, but instead was predictable down to the point of who would reveal the secret wager to the newly-in-love Widow.

The other two books in the series were much better, especially Beatrice's story. Wilhelmina's story deserves to be told. She is a character whose life has been difficult and has risen above it all to find a shaky foothold in society's upper class.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By tachi1 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, I'd like to say that this book--all three books in this series, actually--have the most beautiful covers I've seen recently in paperbacks: clean, elegant, simple & artfully drawn. They really stand out and I hope they will start a trend.

The contents of the books, however, while entertaining, don't have any of the attributes of the covers, and that's a shame. The first two books (my firsts by this author) were moderately entertaining as fiction & stretched probability about as far as they could go & still be based in the Regency period.

This last book, the one which I expected to be the best, somehow missed. I'm having a hard time figuring out why I found it almost embarrasing to read.

Was it the naive assumption that someone as "bad" as the hero was, in reality, a far better & truer person than most? (Maybe I have to start looking at Hugh Hefner in a totally different light?)

Was it the assumption that those who appear to be good and follow the rules of society and their faith, are actually all hypocrites, have an agenda or are, at best, fools?

Are we to believe that they only true way to happiness is to break away from all previous retraints, reject what you previously believed & reinvent yourself as your polar opposite?

Are we to believe that all this change that took place is a matter of weeks is deep and sincere & will actually last, (not just lust at first sight) & that neither main character will later regret it & revert to form?

I couldn't buy it, in spite of all the modern psycho-babble spouted by the other widows, I think both these people have made a major mistake & that the author forced square pegs into round holes just to make the story end the way she wanted it to.
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