Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
Totally charming and extremely enjoyable!
on May 20, 2004
Setting - England, 1831--- Izzy Temple is a rather non-descript and plain young woman who has convinced herself that she would never marry. After all she knew was very plain, but she was intelligent and she had a dream. Of course, her dream was not like the one she was experiencing at the moment with someone nibbling at her neck, caressing her body, and causing all kinds of delightful feelings in the pit of her stomach - but wait a minute, this was no dream! Screaming out and reaching for a candelabrum next to her bed she had just knocked her assailant senseless as the door to her bedchamber was thrown open. Several people came running to her aid. Among them was the fantastically beautiful Lady Claire Bottomly, whose horrifying expression of shock and embarrassment made Izzy realize in an instant that Eppingham, Julian Rowley had mistaken her room for his assignation with the much more desirable Lady Claire. As Julian's father came through the door expressing his disgust with his son, Izzy made the split second decision to protect both Julian and Lady Clair by claiming a lover's quarrel rather than everyone's assumption that he was raping her. Actually, fessing up as being ruined would solve a big problem for her. As the days progressed Izzy was quite pleased with herself that she was to be labeled a `fallen' woman - this way she could set up her own household living alone as an `independent' woman until she would eventually leave England for America!
Unfortunately, Julian in trying to accommodate his father's wishes (and believe me his father ends up being a real beastly, unloving, horrid father) agrees to marry the plain little spinster or he would be disinherited. He is astounded when Izzy promptly turns him down, but after he explained his situation, soft-hearted Izzy agreed to a fake betrothal that she could end within a suitable frame of time, even if she really and truly would love to marry the handsome Lord she was fast losing her heart to. Originally, Julian thought himself immune to the plain spinster, but as he spent time with her - originally as part of the `deception' - he realized that she wasn't plain at all, and when he was with her his heart felt lighter - could this be love?
This was a totally delightful and satisfying read. I don't remember enjoying a heroine so much as Izzy (sweetly nicknamed Isadorable by Julian) and her matter of fact, down to earth outlook on life. Her going away present to her horrid little cousin Sheldon was a hoot and the way she stood up against and `dressed down' Julian's father was magnificent! The reader is just bound to love her transformation from plain Jane to Isadorable. If I have any complaints at all, it would be that the secondary characters (Eric, Lady Claire, cousin Millie, etc.) were so endearing that I feel bereft in not seeing the story continue into a series.... I just hated to see this end even though the author does tie all the ends up with a neat little epilogue. For a debut novel this one is most deservedly worthy of the RITA it has won. Totally charming and extremely enjoyable! --- Submitted by Marilyn, Official Reviewer for [...] ---