Such is my faith in Eva Ibbotson that I powered through this one despite the god-awful cover and embarrassingly innuendo laden title. Even the jacket flap description makes the book sound dreadful. I suffered merciless teasing from my husband and even took this sucker on a plane and read it in PUBLIC! That's how much I trust Eva Ibbotson to give me a good read! And she mostly really delivered. I know my rating may be a bit misleading, but three stars really does mean that I *liked* the book. I appreciate that Ibbotson writes light soufflé style romances, but backs them up with skill and substance. Her heroines are well developed - unique, clever and completely lovable. She creates realistic historical settings and populates them with compelling side characters. All of this propels the reader enjoyably along to the inevitable, yet delightful, conclusion. I have yet to give one of her books four stars, however. The last one I read (A Countess Below Stairs) was just a bit too sugary sweet and this one veered into some seriously distracting melodrama at the end. Still recommended for readers looking for enjoyable, well written fluff.