Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sensible Courtship

By Megan Daniel

Lord Richard Devlin and Lady Francesca Waringham had met and kissed before. But he was preparing to leave for an extended trip around the world and she valued her independence too much to let a man into her life. So, although their attraction to each other was undeniable, they were both too stubborn to give in to it and so they went their separate ways, each with a bit of a chip on their shoulder about the other.
Five years later and Lord Devlin is back in England. He has decided it is time for him to settle down and so he is looking for a wife. He figured a good place to start would be the great estate of Hockleigh, where a large assembly of the gentry has gathered to enjoy the hunt.
It just so happens that Lady Francesca is also a guest at Hockleigh. Still unwed, Cesca has also been thinking of marriage. Although she hates to give up her independence, she has realized that she wants to have children and that requires a husband.
When she and Devlin discover that are both after the same thing, they make a little bet as to who can catch a spouse first. Daring, dashing Devlin, who thinks he wants a meek, mousy, biddable woman for his wife, sets his sights on shy, little Priscilla. And fiery, independent Cesca, who thinks she wants an indifferent, pliable husband, aims for Caspar Maltby, a mild-mannered fellow whose main passion is botany.
They say that opposites attract. Then why are Devlin and Cesca secretly disappointed when both their selected mates agree to wed them?

This was a pretty good read. True, the plot was rather predictable. Of course, Cesca and Devlin belong together and of course mousy Priscilla and boring Caspar are made for each other, so that was no surprise. There is a kidnapping and a jealous, conniving widow to liven things up, but they play a pretty minor role in the story. But it all works to make for a surprisingly enjoyable and interesting story.

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