From Publishers Weekly
With 41 bestsellers to her credit, Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Quick) still approaches a new project as if novel writing were a just-discovered pleasure she can't wait to share. This late Regency romance offers her signature goodies. Elenora Lodge loses the manor to which she was born and thus becomes the eponymous paid companion. She is, of course, plucky, intellectual, democratic, lovely and unabashedly eager to surrender her virginity to the right man: "Sensation whipped through her; a glorious, heady, dizzying whirlpool of passion. She knew that if she did not explore these thrilling emotions with him she would carry the regret with her for the rest of her life." The source of the whirlpool is Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, cranky, quirky, decent to the death, with a sizable fortune and lusty nature to match. Although a happy ending is never in doubt, a murder mystery is threaded through the love story, allowing the besotted couple to sleuth in dark alleyways between tumbles in bed. Quick draws on Regency fascination with science to inform villainous madman Parker, who styles himself "England's second Newton" and terrorizes Elenora with a precursor of the laser. Masked balls, upper-class gambling, women who manage their own affairs and marry for love: if this is familiar territory, it still satisfies. And when Arthur proposes, readers will be right there with Elenora: "The most delicious sense of joy unfurled within her."
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Elenora Lodge is in quite a fix. Her stepfather lost her farm and all of her possessions in a mining venture, and her fiance dumps her faster than the proverbial hot potato. But Elenora is practical and pragmatic. So when Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, offers her a position as a paid companion, she accepts. St. Merryn is in a bit of a fix himself. His favorite uncle has been murdered, and he's sworn vengeance on the killer, a mad alchemist intent on perfecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, St. Merryn's fiancee has also dumped him, and his renewed status as one of London's most eligible bachelors is interfering with his quest for justice, hence his paying Elenora to pose as his new fiancee. Once again, the incomparable Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) has whipped up a delectable Regency romance that mixes humor, suspense, and tantalizing historical detail with all the savory ingredients her fans have come to expect: a feisty, resourceful heroine; a hero with a decidedly dangerous edge; witty repartee; and strongly appealing secondary characters. Another winner from a major romance star. Shelley Mosley
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