|"Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, is a widow at the age of 35 in London's society. When she and her widowed friends join together, they form the Merry Widows. They try to find lovers, but never marry again. Beatrice doesn't really want a lover and instead puts her attentions to chaperoning her niece, Emily, who is trying to find a husband. When they go to a masquerade ball, Beatrice dresses as Artemis, the Greek huntress. Gabriel, Marquess of Thanye, who just returned from India, goes to the ball and is immediately attracted to her. Dressed in Indian garb, her dances with her, and then later makes love to her in a dark garden while the party is still in full swing. However, before he can learn her identity or she his, Beatrice flees. In his search for his huntress he goes to all the balls and parties hoping to spot her. However, due to an agreement he made with his parents before he adventured to India, he must find a bride on his return to London. Beatrice's niece, Emily, sets her sights on Thayne, because he is the catch of the Season. At first, Thanye returns some of her attentions until he learns that her beautiful and sophisticated aunt that is chaperoning her, is really his Artemis! Vowing to woo her anot not her niece, he tells her who he is and reminds her of what they did together. Beatrice is shocked and feels awkward that the masked stranger she so willingly had sex with was the man her niece has set her sights on. As their love affair ensues their attraction turns into love. Thayne asks her to marry him, but she refuses since she thinks she is too old and from fear that she will lose the freedom that widowhood gave her. Thayne and Beatrice must strive to work through her many impractical reasons to not marry and when their affair goes public, through the scandal it caused, before they can find love together.
Lisa Demopulos, Resident Scholar