a brilliant opener

I’ve just finished reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Four Soldiers series, and was sadly disappointed. The writing’s not bad, but for someone who I consider to be writing some of the best, most sophisticated and compelling romance today, it also didn’t blow me away.

However, I have just visited her website and I think the beginning of her up-coming novel Notorious Pleasures is an absolute corker:

The daughter of a duke learns early in life the proper etiquette for nearly everything. What dish to serve roasted larks in. When to acknowledge a rather risqué dowager countess and when to give her the cut direct. What to wear whilst boating down the Thames, and how to fend off the tipsy advances of an earl with very little income at the picnic afterward.

Everything, in fact, Lady Hero Batten reflected wryly, but how to address a gentleman coupling vigorously with a married lady not his own.

“Ahem,” she tried while gazing fixedly at the molded plaster pears on the ceiling overhead.


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