A fabulous read that although takes a few pages to get going is worthwhile in the end. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Arabella Fermor and Robert Petre develop through the eyes of the poet Alexander Pope. However it is London 1711 and their relationship is not conventional, providing the scandal of the season from the title.
Alexander is in need of inspiration and it isn't until the end of the novel that he sees the motivation for this most famous poem. You can tell the author has an interest in literature as well as history as both are excellently entwined within the novel. The writing style is great, Gee has made this time in history extremely readable and you forget at times you are reading about real events.
For me, the blurb lives up to its hype. As a bonus in the edition of the book that I have was an explanation of the sexual mores of the times. Don't expect the 18th Century written by Jane Austen in this novel, as Gee explains this is set a lot earlier than she was writing and people had much more freedom.
Underlying the sizzling sexiness of the novel is treasonous plot against Queen Anne. Therefore there is a range of material to appeal to different audiences. For me it was reading about Alexander Pope, for others it might be the seductiveness of the period or the political plots and fears. I prefer the UK cover to the US cover in that the UK cover looks more of the times whilst the US cover appears modern in its interpretation. A super read, one I'm pleased I was recommended to read.