I don't know exactly why I read the whole thing except that I have enjoyed Laurens books in the past and it wasn't dreadful. But it made me think of the very old song "The Leader of the Pack". These were supposed to be grown ups--our H was 31, the h was 22. I think the model was the Frat president and the sorority ingénue. Occasionally there was a witty exchange. The sexual content was in the last little bit so if that bothers you skip the last chapter. Otherwise, you could share it with your Brownie troop--not Cub Scouts--too girlie.
This is a good Regency romance, because Stephanie Laurens books are always good. That said, this one is a re-release of one of her early books -- and it is not as good as her later books (like anything in the Cynster series, all of which are fantastic). This book, probably because it is one of her earlier works, is quite tame, with no explicit love scenes at all and only a very light mystery element. And that is nothing like her later books.
This book is much more typical of Regency romances written some time ago -- the characters attend lots of society events, which means there is much time spent on their clothes, and the strict manners/behavior expected of them. It doesn't have any of the steamy scenes found in Laurens' later books. It also doesn't have any of the strong, independent women found in her later books, who know how to get their men to do what they want, and don't hesitate to rebel at society rules. The women in this book, while intelligent, put up a token resistance to the control of men -- but end up falling into line with what their men want.
So, while I did enjoy this book, I prefer Laurens' more recent works. This book is entertaining and well-written. If you are looking for a typical Regency romance, with no explicit love scenes -- this is a good choice.
The last two of her books didn't have near the graphic sex her earlier books had. Her books had become 40% sex and 60% story. She is such a good writer, she didn't need all that cut and paste sex to sell her books. I have over 35 of her books on my Kindle and have read them all at least twice, skipping over the sex in order to just read the story.
The women in Stephanie Laurens' books are always strong, independent wonderfully drawn characters. Dorothea Darrent is another example of a lady in Regency England who despite being a "spinster" is highly desirable and desired. A strong male in the form of Hazelmere manages to fall in love with her and thus begins a wonderful romp through the English countryside and off to London and the ton. There is humor, love, suspense and danger, the best combination for a Regency Romance.
Pretty typical SL story. I did enjoy the side story involving the heroine's sister but a little epilogue about how that ended up would have been nice. I do enjoy a short epilogue set a few years in the future.