In order to escape from a forced marriage of sorts, Lucy Carleton flees to Bath, her cousin and “intended” aiding her, until they reach the home of Miss Annis Wynchwood, a determined spinster who is really only 26 and quite beautiful. When Annis involves herself in Lucy’s affairs, she finds herself tied up with Sir Oliver Carleton, Lucy’s uncle, who is now responsible for her welfare, with unexpected results.
I think the best word to describe this book is delightful. I found the beginning somewhat confusing, but I think I just had to get used to the style, because I loved it afterwards. Heyer’s prose is sparkling, the battle of wits between the characters is engaging, and reading this book just left me wanting more. I’d say Annis’s struggle towards the end was most interesting; her choice between what she saw as her freedom and love. The comparison to Jane Austen is clear here with this an entirely character driven tale of relations and relationships. Very much worth a read for anyone interested in the period.