I'm tempted to simply say here, "Read this book" and leave it at that. I mentioned in my NPR Valentine's Day essay that there were a ton of great historical books out there, and there are. But this one is special.
The heroine, Pippa, is one of the most unique characters I've seen in a while, and she is wonderful, adorable, amazing, sweet, bold - so many words to describe her, all rolled into this bundle of wit, heart and intelligence that leaps off the page, and wins the heart of the most notorious rake in London, Mr. Cross. who is also her brother-in-law's partner as owner of the most popular gaming hell in London.
Intrepid Pippa is headed into a marriage of convenience and worries abut her duties in bed. She is a woman of science, so decides to reasearch the subject by approaching Cross for information. He categorically refuses her, while hating himself for being attracted, intrigued and stymied by the woman who won't take 'no' for an answer, but has the most innocently charming questions -- which make them devastatingly seductive.
This love story is sweetly tender, and watching these two fall in love while determinedly trying to remain true to their own moral compasses - which demand they keep each other strictly off limits - is fun, heart-wrenching and inspiring. Watching Pipps take on the male-dominated gambling world (including a brilliant Ocean's Eleven-inspired con) and her own inhibitions is sheer, sparkling wonder.
Read. This. Book.
(I also decided to post about this book today, because Sarah MacLean is doing a cute set of blog posts about bespectacled women on her site -- which kind of celebrates a nerdiness, too -- and today is my sister's birthday. My older sister is the first friend I ever had, and would go to the ends of the earth to help the people she loves. She started wearing glasses when she was 9 years old - the first of any of our friends to do so - and she is probably my favorite bespectacled lady of all time. And she loves sci-fi and Dr. Who, so kinda wonderful-geeky, too…).
Sarah MacLean and her publisher, Avon, have generously donated five copies of the book to give away. Leave a
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