This is how to write a heroine, I think. Gwen could have easily been irritating in her decision to throw away convention and live wickedly -- if you think about it, it IS sort of annoying -- but instead she was a fabulous Character, and watching her wheel between naive debutante and woman of the world was refreshingly fascinating.
Also, I like a book that takes you beyond the ballrooms and moors of England. Reading about Paris through Gwen's eyes (and by Meredith Duran's clear and amazing prose) was possibly one of my favorite parts of this book, and considering that I couldn't put it down until I finished it in the wee hours of the morning, that's saying something.
Time to find me more Duran books. :D