The Particulars: Traditional Regency romance, Signet, 1993, Out Of Print
Playing a Perilous PartIs It In Wendy's TBR?: Brace yourselves - no, I've actually read it!
Miss Katherine Billings was cast in a most unlikely role for a vicar's daughter. But beautiful Kate was an impoverished orphan--and her only escape from a lecherous employer's embraces was to go upon the stage. It was dangerous enough that a charming French playwright wanted her as his leading lady, and an ambitious impresario demanded that she bare her charms to an eager audience. But when a magnificent marquess, Lord Henry Grayson, proposed that she join him in a masquerade of mating in a mock marriage, Kate found that putting on an act in public could be even more perilous in private...if the act was an act of love....
Any Reviews?: In a review that honestly read more negative than positive to me, All About Romance gave this one a B:
Even though this is not Carla Kelly's best book (Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind and Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand are my own favorites), it still is a novel worth reading. Unfortunately it has been out of print for years, but if you can lay hands on a copy, you are in for an unusual and, for the greatest part, enjoyable Regency Romance.And that's really about it - other than a few customer reviews over at Amazon.
Anything Else?: As I mentioned, I've actually read this book. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) for you all - I read it pre-blogging days, so no review. I have a vague memory of reading it while traveling, and I suspect it was when I went to Denver in 2002 for RWA (my first conference and I only attended the Librarians Day event and the Literacy Signing).
A few things I remember about this book? The hero is going bald, Kelly put a lot of "story" in this book without making it feel "overstuffed" and I found it quite charming. Not fantastic. Not OMG Bestest Book Evah! SQUEEEEE!!1!1!! - but charming. I read very few trads, but when I read this one I kinda "got" why so many fans of the sub genre rave endlessly about Kelly. I don't exactly remember the hero being selfish (as some of the reviews suggest) and I don't remember being bothered by the "coincidences" that the AAR reviewer points out - so obviously it worked for me.
Or else I did notice these issues at the time and they didn't bother me enough for those moments to stick in my memory some 8 years later.
And before any desperate Kelly fans ask - the copy I read is no longer in my possession. Otherwise I would be tempted to sell it to the highest bidder....