Published By: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Published: Jul 01, 2008
ISBN # 9781402213526
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook, Secure Adobe eBook
A sparkling Regency romance from the queen of the genre
Beautiful Deborah Grantham, mistress of her aunt's elegant gaming house, must find a way to restore herself and her aunt to respectability, preferably without accepting either of two repugnant offers. One is from an older, very rich and rather corpulent lord whose reputation for licentious behavior disgusts her; the other from the young, puppyish scion of a noble family whose relatives are convinced she is a fortune hunter. Max Ravenscar, uncle to her young suitor, comes to buy her off, an insult so scathing that it leads to a volley of passionate reprisals, escalating between them to a level of flair and fury that can only have one conclusion...
"My favourite historical novelist—stylish, romantic, sharp, and witty. Her sense of period is superb, her heroines are enterprising, and her heroes dashing. I owe her many happy hours." —Margaret Drabble
"Georgette Heyer is unbeatable." Sunday Telegraph
"Sparkling." Independent on Sunday
"A writer of great wit and style...I've read her books to ragged shreds." —Kate Fenton, Daily Telegraph
Upon her butler’s announcing the arrival of Mr Ravenscar, Lady Mablethorpe, who had been dozing over a novel from the Circulating Library, sat up with a jerk, and raised a hand to her dishevelled cap. ‘What’s that you say? Mr Ravenscar? Desire him to come upstairs at once.’
While the butler went to convey this message to the morningcaller, her ladyship tidied her ruffled person, fortified herself with a sniff at her vinaigrette, and disposed herself on the sofa to receive her guest.
The gentleman who was presently ushered into the room was some twenty years her junior, and looked singularly out of place in a lady’s boudoir. He was very tall, with a good pair of legs, encased in buckskins and topboots, fine broad shoulders under a coat of superfine cloth, and a lean, harsh-featured countenance with an uncompromising mouth and extremely hard grey eyes. His hair, which was black, and slightly curling, was cut into something perilously near a Bedford crop. Lady Mablethorpe, who belonged to an older generation, and herself continued to make free use of the pounce-box, in spite of Mr Pitt’s iniquitous tax on hair-powder, could never look upon the new heads without a shudder. She shuddered now, as her affronted gaze took in not only her nephew’s abominable crop but also the careless set of his coat, his topboots, the single spur he wore, and the negligent way he had tied his cravat, and thrust its ends through a gold-edged buttonhole. She raised the vinaigrette to her nostrils again, and said in a fading voice: ‘Upon my word, Max! Whenever I clap eyes on you I fancy I can smell the stables!’
Mr Ravenscar strolled across the room, and took up a position with his back to the fire. ‘And can you?’ he enquired amiably.
Lady Mablethorpe chose to ignore this exasperating question. ‘Why, in the name of heaven, only one spur?’ she demanded.
‘That’s the high kick of fashion,’ said Ravenscar.
‘It makes you look for all the world like a postilion.’
‘It’s meant to.’
‘And you know very well that you do not care a snap for the fashion! I beg you will not teach Adrian to make such a vulgar spectacle of himself !’
Mr Ravenscar raised his brows. ‘I’m not likely to put myself to so much trouble,’ he said.
This assurance did nothing to mollify his aunt. She said severely that the fashion of waiting upon ladies in garments fit only for Newmarket was not one which she had until this day encountered.