Sarah MacLean has been an auto-buy author for me ever since her first book. She has no equal in creating bold, immensely likable heroines. And her heroes aren't bad either.
For her time and place in society, Pippa is odd, and she knows it. Her mindset is rational, indeed scientific, so it seems perfectly logical to her to seek information about marital relations in advance of her wedding to the conventional Lord Castleton. In addition she clearly has read the marriage rite in the Book of Common Prayer and is worried that she will be making vows before God that she doesn't quite understand. Her mother and sisters are no help at all, so it makes perfect sense, then, to seek instruction from the wickedest man she knows -- her brother-in-law's business partner Cross.
Cross wants nothing to do with this business, but he finds himself strangely attracted to this odd young lady. Here begins the sensual dance between these two that form the bulk of the plot. And nobody does sexual tension better than Sarah MacLean.
MacLean also does an excellent job of involving characters from the first book in this series, as well as giving us glimpses of the heroes in the upcoming books. The interplay among the four owners of the Fallen Angel is entertaining and works well within the plot, never seeming like sequel-bait.
The only thing that kept this from being a five-star read for me is Pippa's clever, but for me unbelievable, scheme at the end. When reading it, I thought it sounded too much like a certain modern movie, so imagine my reaction when the author's note at the end explained that that exact movie was her inspiration. Just didn't work for me.
But don't let my reservations stop you from reading this utterly charming book.