This is a cute idea for a period romance. The plot elements for tension are there.
The hero and heroine meet cute; the villain, the best friend, and a more creative element, the hooker-equivalent with the heart-of-gold keep the story moving.
There are few things missing for me; and I would have rated 3.5 stars if halvsies were possible.
The main characters don't come really alive for me. William is a rake; the ingenue bride is sweet. She is so forgettable that I had to look up her name, Beatrice, to write this.
I'm don't even know what the hero looks like, beyond his thick blond hair and green eyes. Is he a fop or well-dressed but careless? Where is his valet and her maid? If she was too poor to have one before she married her Lord, would he not have hired one for her?
Why does he spend his evenings, apparently, solely at Mrs. Doubard's parties picking up women. She is anachronistically referred to as Ms. but I cannot make myself do that, even for a review.
Is William no more than a lounge lizard? Wouldn't a rake also be out gambling, hanging at men's clubs, taking in some fisticuffs, out hunting and so forth?
The explanation for his determination not to sully Beatrice with sex is delayed so long that his actions were as confusing and inconsistent to me as to Beatrice. "Get on with it, man," I wanted to shout -- much like Mrs. D.
The sinister Mr. Spens is, IMHO, under-utilized.
In sum, this is a good idea for a story. With some nuanced shading of the characters, a few lines of witty dialogue that make me grin, and perhaps a bit of beefing up and working on plot details and timing, this could be a dynamite book. As it stands, it is worth a read if you like period romance.