This is not a historical/regency romance. Rather it is "regency reimagined" which allows for regency window dressing with some vague nod to expectations of propriety. There are references to the expectations of society, but the characters live in a little orgastic oasis where loving polyamory is the norm.
Perhaps it is a child's duty to be embarrassed by one's parents, certainly not all of Kinsey's children were enthusiastic about their parents openness regarding sexuality. If that's the case, Lord Archibald Cambury fulfills his duty admirably, wanting nothing more than the opposite of the intimate relationships of his closest family. His mothers are splendid, and his sister is quite happy with her two husbands, but all he want is a single, proper, wife.
The lovely Selina Ashby could be that very wife: demure, lovely, and intelligent. Or at least Archie thinks she is demure, and is both shocked and horrified to discover that she's a very forward and sexually eager young lady. To say that he is shocked by her actions is an understatement, and Archie re-evaluates her suitability as both a potential wife and mother. Then later when he learns exactly how close Selina and Beatrix are, he feels as if his world is falling apart. Fortunately, his own dear friend Christopher is there to bugger some commons sense into Archie.
If I was to do a review for twitter on this book it would be: "Prudish Lord rejects hedonistic lifestyle & fails to grasp double standards until fucked into understanding."
I'll be honest, the fact that Archie has a pretty well established long-term, if casual, relationship with Christopher, yet is utterly unaccepting to the point of incomprehension of Selina's relationship with Beatrix when she even tells him upfront annoys me. The first real breakthrough Archie and Selina experience quite explicitly involves Christopher in the most intimate of ways. Add in all of the other less traditional relationships of his family and the fact that everyone else knows exactly how close the two ladies are makes it all the more ridiculous. Though perhaps Archie's biggest failing throughout the whole book is having an utterly prudish world view when anything involves him. His mother is in a loving relationship with another woman, his sister has two 'husbands,' and he even has a dear male friend who he is ever so intimate with. Get over yourself, Archie.
Read for salacious adventures and overly dramatic conflict.
Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.