Lord Perfect continues the tales of the Carsington brothers, sons of the Earl of Hargate, and stars the eldest, Benedict, Viscount Rathbourne, widower, businessman and political activist. His behaviour is so far above reproach that he is nicknamed Lord Perfect. So perfect, in fact, that when a friend has a problem with Lord Lisle, his unruly son, Benedict looks after him whilst his parents decide on their next move. Things become a little less pristine, however, when he meets Bathsheba Wingate, member of the dreadful DeLucey family, a widow with a young daughter, Olivia. They meet when their young charges get into a fight at an exhibition of ancient Egyptian artifacts; they both initially ignore their mutual attraction due to Bathsheba's unfairly dreadful reputation, but pretty soon Benedict is rationalising that Bathsheba would make an excellent art teacher for Lisle. Struggling with poverty after her noble family and in-laws all reject her, she rationalises that it would be foolish to refuse such welcome income. All very well, but then Olivia and Lisle run away to find hidden treasure. Olivia is clearly a chip off the old DeLucey block, and the sub-plot between her and Lord Lisle is delightfully comic. Bathsheba and Benedict are thrown together when they chase after the children, and it is not long before the sexual attraction between them becomes harder and harder to resist, and soon Lord Perfect is being very far from perfect, to Bathsheba's guilty pleasure.
What makes Loretta Chase so special for me is her idiosyncratic way of writing and her wonderful humor. For example, Bathsheba and Benedict repeatedly bump into each other. The first time, Benedict is looking for her, and Bathsheba says ' Had I not the presence of mind to throw myself in your way, you might have missed me altogether.' It happens again, and Benedict says 'I seem to have acquired a troublesome habit of standing in your way' . The plot fairly gallops along, involving, as well as Bathsheba's judgemental relatives, Lord Hargate, Benedict's father, and Rupert and Daphne from Mr Impossible-not to mention hidden treasure.
This is a wonderful romp resulting in redemption, happiness, laughter and passion for Benedict and Bathsheba- not bad for a man who was dying inside and an ostracised widow.