Emma Harlow has built quite a reputation in London. She broke Sir Leopold’s record for racing a curricle from London to Newmarket (and she thinks she could have been even faster had propriety not required the presence of her brother in the carriage). She’s smart, she’s unconventional, and she’s funny, and no one wants that in a wife. She also really doesn’t like her twin sister’s fiance, Sir Waldo Windbourne (Emma calls him Windbag, for very obvious reasons).
The story opens with Emma getting busted stealing a rare orchid from the Duke of Trent, by a man she thinks is the Duke’s cousin. Instead of turning her in, the gentleman helps her in the caper, and demands a waltz at the next ball. She was stealing the orchid for her sister, who loves to cultivate flowers, although the depth of her knowledge would be considered unseemly if anyone knew about it.
Emma wants to distract Lavinia from the jerky fiance, both with the flower, and also maybe with the attention of a gentleman. A rake, to be precise, and she knows exactly who she needs. Yup, the Duke of Trent.
There’s a whole bunch of meet-cute, misunderstandings, mistaken identities, overheard conversations, and turnabouts. There are also spies, plots against the government, carriage chases, attempted murders, regular murders, and maybe even a little sex. Almost everything comes out right in the end, of course, because this is a Regency Romance, not A Song of Ice and Fire.
This book is the start to an entertaining series – the next book is about Lavinia, and the aftermath of this book. And I’ve just started on another, so keep your eyes peeled for more reviews!