Ms. Cornick's seventh book, Lady Allerton's Wager is an enjoyable romp through Regency-era England. A romp with a touch of mystery and a pair of star-crossed lovers, whose families have been feuding for half a century.
By disguising herself at the Cyprian's Ball, the widowed Elizabeth, Lady Allerton tricks her family's enemy, Marcus, Lord Trevithick into wagering with her for the island his family stole from hers many years ago. She wins and he agrees to honour their wager, until he finds out who she is. They race to reach the island first, but during their encounters along the way, they find themselves drawn to each other.
While Beth is a heroine with spirit and intelligence, she also is a little too impulsive. Marcus, on the other hand, is a hero through and through, honourable and caring.
The plot skips along at an enjoyable rate and it's clear Ms. Cornick is comfortable recreating Regency England. Only a Big Misunderstanding towards the end of the book detracted a tad from my enjoyment.
Fans of the Regency period will want to pick this book up. I intend to seek out Ms. Cornick's backlist and the books that followed this one.
© Teresa Basinski Eckford 2004
This review first appeared in the May 2004 issue of The Historical Novels Review