Hero: Miles Calverleigh
Supporting cast: Stacy Calverleigh, Fanny Wendover, Selina Wendover
He had nothing to recommend him but his smile, and she was surely too old, and had too much commonsense, to be beguiled by a smile....
Mis Abigail Wendover's efforts to detatch her spirited niece Fanny from a plausible fortune-hunter are complicated by the arrival in Bath of Miles Caverleigh. The black sheep of the family, a cynical, outrageous care-for-not with a scandalous past - that would be a connection more shocking even then Fanny's unwise liaison with his nephew!
But Abby, adept at managing her sweet silly sister Selina, her lively niece, and the host of her admirers among Bath's circumscribed society, has less success in managing her own unruly heart.
My thoughts: This story is one top five favourites. I love the conversations between H/H. Miles is very entertaining and so relaxed and different from the usual 'ideal' of the regency hero that like freddy from Cotilion you immediatly know there is more to him then meets the eye.
Favorite Lines and conversations : These can spoil the book if you have not read it yet.
She said unsteadily: "Talking to you is like talking to an eel!"
"No, is it? I've never tried to talk to an eel. Isn't it a waste of time?"
She choked. "Not such a waste of time as talking to you!"
"No, I assure you! Nothing derogatory! Charming girls, all of them! Only
I don't want to kiss them!"
She gave a startled gasp. "You don't want --- Well, upon my word! And if you mean me to understand from that---"
"I do,"he said, smiling down at her. "I should dearly love to kiss you---here and now!"
"W-well you can't!" said Abby, rocked off her balance.
"I know I can't--not here and now, at all events!"
"Ever!" she uttered furiously aware of her flaming cheeks.
"Oh that quite another matter! Do you care to wager a small sum on the chance?"
Making a desperate recovery, she said: "No ! I never bet on certainties!"
He laughed. "You know you are a darling!" he said, completing her confusion.
"Well, what you are is a --a-----"
"Hedge-bird?"He suggested helpfully, as she stopped, at a loss for a word opprobrious enough to describe him. "Gull-catcher?Bermondsey boy? Rudesby? Queer Nabs?"
She broke into laughter, and threw at him over her shoulder, as she went before him into the tearoom: "All of those ---and worse ! In a word, infamous!
"Yes, but you must remember that I was a sad disappointment to the family.My father even suspected me of being a changeling. A delightful theory, but without foundation, I fear."
"You know you have some remarkably hubble-bubble notions in the charming head of yours! How the devil should I have any influence over a nephew who met me for the first time this afternoon?"
"For my part," he retorted, "I think you are well able to button it up yourself, without any assistence from me."
"I love you you know," he said conversationally. "Will you marry me?"
"Of course I'm serious! A pretty hobble I should be in if I wasn't and
you accepted my offer! The thing is that it is such a devil of
a time since I proposed marriage to a girl that I've forgotten how to set about it. If I ever knew, but I daresay I didn't, for I was always a poor hand at making flowery speeches." He smiled at her again, a little ruefully.
"I was forgetting that," he apologized. "Why are we not going to be married?"
"No, no this isn't an elopement! I'm abducting you!"
"My dear girl, you don't consent to an abduction!" You consent to an elopement , and I knew you wouldn't do that."