The beautiful but poor Deborah Grantham presides over her aunt’s gaming house in Regency London. Here she meets Max Ravenscar who is determined to prevent his young cousin and ward from contracting an inappropriate marriage to Grantham. Incensed by the idea that she would exploit an innocent, Deborah decides to take her revenge on Ravenscar which eventually leads to the pair falling in love.
In classic Heyer form, we have a feisty heroine and a high in the instep hero. He thinks she is a vulgar adventuress set on getting her tenterhooks into his young, foolish cousin. She thinks he is a big time jerk who needs to be put in his place.
The result is some fabulous, hilarious events that kept me laughing through a quick read. Secondary characters are the pillars of Heyer’s Incomparable writing style, providing sweet foils for the book’s protagonist and energizing the plot.
Set in late Georgian London, Deborah is a gentleman’s daughter living with her widowed Aunt whose small jointure has forced her to turn her card parties into a declining gaming hell. Its in this environment that she meets the young buck whose calf love sets off alarm bells with his mama, who in turn pleads her case with trustee and nephew Ravenscar.
While her Aunt bemoans the price of peas, and the hefty mortgage now in the hands of another Deb’s ardent suitors (who has less than honorable intentions), Deb finds herself piqued by the needless interventions of Ravenscar.
There is a classic scene at Vauxhall, an incredible kidnapping scheme, and a tongue in cheek look at the gaming habits of the Upper Crust.
In short, its Heyer perfection and well worth a read.
Some adult subject matter, but generally acceptable for older teens and vanilla hist ro lovers.