LESSONS OF DESIRE, by Madeline Hunter

Ah, romance, and romance novels, and their provocative titles. This historical romance, set in Italy and in London, is a continuation of Hunter’s other best-seller, Rules of Seduction. But it stands alone fairly well. Bluestocking Phaedra Blair, daughter of the notorious free-love advocate Artemis Blair, first sees Lord Elliot Rothwell from her prison window (her lodging, where she is unjustly held). It’s mild antipathy with a frisson of sensual desire at first sight. As the plot thickens, so does the conflict. Plenty of authentic detail, plus the growing attraction between the two sparkling protagonists will keep you glued to the pages. Hunter builds to a nice climax (pardon the pun) in the story, and the rocky road to understanding is worth the voyage. It’s a 4. For sex, it's a discrete 1+.