At nearly 30 years of age, Miss Annis Wynchwood has come to terms with her spinsterhood. She enjoys the independence that her age, wealth, and status provides, and has set up a house for herself at Bath.
But what begins as an adventurous rescue of Miss Lucilla Carleton (who is running away from an arranged marriage) puts a quick end to Annis’ quiet life, especially when Lucilla’s nearest male relative shows up to give Annis a piece of his mind. Mr. Oliver Carleton is the rudest man Annis has ever met, and neither is prepared for the sparks that fly.
Another wonderful read
This is probably the last Heyer book I’m going to review, because I’m starting the dark descent into rabid fandom. I’m losing my perspective and ability to think critically; all I can do for the entire duration of the novel is squeal like a little girl at the fantastic writing, great characters, hilarious moments, and happy endings.
I love the interactions between Annis and Oliver. They’ve got a major case of what I call “Beatrice and Benedick Syndrome,” one of my favorite literary diseases. There are many great supporting characters, including Miss Farlow, possibly the chattiest and most annoying character since Mrs. Bennett.
If you love Regency novels with a smidge of romance, a lot of cleverness, and just a little bit of risque behavior (risque for the 18th century, that is), check out Lady of Quality, or any of Heyer’s novels.
“ ‘Oh, no! He is stuffed with good qualities, but the melancholy truth is that however much I may respect a man’s good qualities they don’t inspire me with a particle of love for him! I shall either marry a man stuffed with bad qualities, or remain a spinster — which is the likeliest fate to befall me!’ ” (p. 182)