Louisa Carnell and her brother Valentine have grown up in the shadow of their tyrannical father, who devoted his energy to controlling their lives and repressing their spirits. So when he finally dies, the Carnell siblings are ready to come out of their shells and experience life. They re-establish contact with some distant cousins (who had been estranged from the family when their father was alive) and eventually go off to visit them in London. However, their ignorance of the world soon leads them into some fairly big trouble: Valentine becomes attached to a married woman, and Louisa has to navigate her way among various suitors who might hope to win her fortune rather than her love.
Despite — or perhaps because of — my fanatical devotion to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, I’m almost always disappointed by books that attempt to mimic their plots and style. The copies are almost never as good as the originals, and why read something inferior when you could have the real thing? But Jude Morgan is a writer of Regency-era historical fiction whose books I truly enjoy, and this book is no exception. I loved Louisa as a heroine because she is both romantic and level-headed. It was also nice to read a book that featured a close sibling relationship. I enjoyed the compelling storyline, witty dialogue, and satisfying romance. In short, definitely recommended to fans of fiction set in this time period!