Georgette Heyer was my introduction to romance novels, so I established a high standard for romance from the start. As a teen, my favorite Heyer was Devil’s Cub with the wicked Lord Vidal in his silks and wig shooting highwaymen. I loved the Georgian era with men in their wigs, frock coats, and high heels. A man dressed in silk maintaining his masculine confidence is enticing.
With her Georgian novel, To Wilde To Wed, Ms. James created a hero in Lord North just as captivating as Lord Vidal. Lord North was introduced in Wilde In Love, Lord North had been the stiffly formal gentleman dressed in the height of fashion. However, the cruel jilting by his fiance changed his priorities. Now two years later, he is returning home from army service in America. To find his former fiance and a child rumored to be his living in the family seat. But the messy, maladroit nanny is far different from the fashionable beauty to whom he had been engaged.
Miss Diana Belgrave had felt like a fraud during her engagement. She was not future duchess material. Her mother was the driving force behind the picture perfect society beauty that captured the eye of Lord North. The broken engagement saved both Lord North and herself much unhappiness, but she regretted the manner in which she ended the engagement.
Thus begins an enchanting romance. There are wit and humor. There is a delicious scene involving Lord North and his valet, which was reminiscent of a scene in The Devil’s Cub. However, Ms. James created a much more comical scene involving a pair of saffron pantaloons. Admittedly Ms. Heyer could generate a lot of sexual tension with a kiss, she did not write erotic scenes. Happily, Ms. James has provided with robustly sexual interactions between the hero and heroine. This book was a pleasure to read from beginning to end. Fortunately, Ms. James is not done with the Wilde family. There is a third book coming in July, and I already have it on pre-order.