Very enjoyable book set in 1808 so is late George III/Regency period. However, those of whom amongst you want a Regency novel with discriptions of the inside of houses/furnishings and clothes etc., will be disappointed. Also the language is modern with no real attempt at Regency speak - I don't think that a Georgian/Regency Earl would say "No worries!" (modern Australasian). Plus, I think that M Schoeder gets mixed up with British titles and how the aristocracy are addressed, from time to time e.g. Colleen introduced Sebastian as "Lord Sebastian Ware", which is correct as he is the son of a second son of an Earl. He later tells her that in London he is know by his family's title of "Lord Penwyth". Wrong! Only the Earl, his Uncle would be called Lord Penwyth; Penwyth's heir would be Lord Ware, unless he had another courtesy title and all the other son's, cousins etc., would be Lord first name Ware.
Now don't let the above put you off, unless you are a stickler for correct detail.
Basic story: Colleen MacGregor is a 25 year old sharp-tongued spinster living by herself outside York on her family's small holding. She has absolutely no wish to marry and put herself at the mercy of some man, especially a drunken rake. Her late stepfather, whom she despised, was a drunk.
While coming back from the village one winter's day she discovers the body of a man half covered by snow. When she dismounts and gets closer to him, she discovers that he reeks of whisky. However, she decides, reluctantly, that she can't just leave him there to freeze to death and manages to get him into her wagon and to her house. There she discovers that he has a wound on the back of his head as though he has been coshed over his head. He also develops a chill and fever, so she ends up nursing him back to health for a week. From his delirious ramblings it is obvious that the man likes women and is a rake. Despite this Colleen is very attracted to him.
When the snow storm dies down, the local vicar and a villager come looking for Colleen, to make sure that she is okay. They walk in, just as a weak Sebastian, who has decided to get up out of bed, stumbles and falls pulling Colleen on top of him. To the observers it looks like the pair are indulging in a bit of hanky panky. The vicar insists that Colleen has been compromised and that Sebastian must do the right thing and marry her, as he knows that his companion will spread the news all over the village and that Colleen will be ruined. Colleen is horrified! No way does she want to get married. However, both the vicar and then Sebastian persuade her. Sebastian promises her that he will return to London and she can stay in her cottage.
However, on the day of their hurried wedding, Sebastian's mother and sister turn up. They have been searching everywhere for him. He's been away for 6 months travelling. However, they knew that he was attending a house party near York and have made enquiries. They have the news that not only has Sebastian's Uncle, the Earl died, but also his cousin, the Earl's son and heir. That leaves Sebastian as the new Earl and Colleen as his Countess.
Relutantly, Colleen is dragged off to London and presented as the new Countess. However, Sabastian receives a visit from a Bow Street Runner. It turns out that Sebastian's cousin hired the man because he believed that someone was trying to kill him and also believed that his father the Earl was murdered. Sebastian headed the Runner's list of suspects, until the man discovered that he had been coshed over the head and left to die. Now it seems to both the Runner and Sebastian that his youngest Uncle, James, must be the culprit. However, they can't figure out why, as James has plenty of money, so gaining the title seems to be the only motive and that seems a very weak motive to kill people for.
Then, both Sebastian and Colleen then experience attempts on their lives.
Sebastian, has fallen in love with his sharp-tongued, feisty, intelligent wife and she with him. The interaction between the two is witty and amusing.
An enjoyable story.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1450 KB
- Print Length: 246 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Harmless Publishing; 3 edition (13 March 2015)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00U45V2VW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 21 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #206,015 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)