The series is built around a school for seduction that an aging French courtesan runs for a select group of men. They overlap in time and share some characters but can be read in any order. However, Romancing Lady Stone touches only slightly on the school. It explains some backstory and we are told will also link to characters that will appear in her next planned series.
Now for the details: Konstantin Alexie Levin has until recently provided protection for powerful criminals and others who require muscle, but is now trying to make a living by less violent means. Now a deposed French duke has offered him a third of his property in return for saving his life and wishes to give it to him now, as soon as Konstantin can leave Russia and meet him in London.
Lady Cecilia Stone wakes up in a coach in Russia, realizing that she has been robbed and drugged. Her traveling companion has abandoned her and she is alone in Russia with no money, in need of reaching St. Petersburg where she plans to talk her son out of marrying an actress. Konstantin, who is traveling in the coach, offers to escort her to St. Petersburg and help her find her son.
This is a substantial novella with well constructed characters; Cecilia's concern for the future of her daughters should anything damage the family reputation back in London feels justified, and Konstantin's acceptance of that fact once her son drives it home for him marks him as a worthy hero. English and Russian society do come across as feeling like two different worlds, and when the happily-ever-after arrives, it feels like both a viable solution and not such a painfully obvious one as to make the reader think that there shouldn't have been a problem in the first place.
If you haven't read the School of Gallantry novels, this will give you a taste of the dialogue, strong grasp of setting, and sexuality level of the series. If you have, this will make the wait for book four a bit more bearable.
Overall Grade: A