Soooo. Heyer's first novel, written at the age of 15 for her sick brother. Commendable, yes. Well written, not so much.
The prose is about the same as her later books. Dialogue slightly lacking. Plot completely out of wack. Characters...don't ask.
You might think this is Jack and Diana's story. You'd be wrong. You might that Diana would be smart. You'd be wrong. You might think that the villain gets his comeuppance. Wrong again. And you might think that Lavinia deserves to be smacked. Congratulations. You got something right.
I mean, seriously? What about Jack and Diana?? They're pretty much the only people mentioned in the description/back cover and yet they get 6% page time? What? It's all Richard and Lavinia. WHY??? Ugh. Richard was fine but Lavinia was such a...so whiny. Plus, it was really boring...
And what we did get of Diana and Jack was pathetic. Insta-love.
And the worst part? The villain, Duke of Andover/Devil, abducts Diana at the end and attempts to rape her. AND GETS AWAY SCOT FREE!!! Teh hell? Diana's all, "It's okay." and everyone else, including but not limited to Jack, is fine with it. "Let's all drink sherry and get along famously.'
*headdesk* So not recommended. Her other books are far better than this junk.