"But look at how he fills his inexpressibles." "Sawdust and socks, my dear, sawdust and socks." I was looking for a light read to start out the New Year and in browsing my shelves realized I had not re-read this volume in ages. It's very infrequently that I will re-read romances, but this is a favourite among my circle of friends. It was originally loaned to me by pan_demalheur and upon finishing it I immediately began scouring the used book stores for my own copy as it was even then out of print. Metzger employs what is in my opinion a highly under-used trope of the romance genre, that of the virginal hero. Of the few books I've discovered that include it, Metzger uses it most effectively. Her frothy and for-the-period risque dialogue (full of double entrendres and delightful misunderstandings) pay it off to delightful effect. Metzger's usually light writing is not perfect, as in trying to differentiate her narrative points of view, she does overuse the technique of the catchphrase-to-establish-point-of-view (though oddly only in her lower-class characters). Despite being able to see a few more flaws in the prose, this volume was a delight once again, even if it did prove I'm not completely healthy again: the passage quoted above resulted in a rather painful coughing fit.