Genre: regency romance
Fiction RBC 2014: A book at the bottom of your To Be Read pile
Sir Richard Wyndham, notable whip, dandy and Corinthian is on his way home one evening, suitably inebriated and on the cusp of making the biggest decision of his life, when he’s met with the most startling sight. Suddenly, his imminent (and slightly dreaded) proposal of marriage to Melissa Brandon, whose family is in as dire financial straits as he is fabulously rich, doesn’t seem quite important. On a sudden whim, Richard finds himself acting as cousin, tutor and whatever other guises the journey requires as he escorts young Penelope Creed across the country.
Penelope Creed was in the process of climbing out of her bedroom window by way of knotted sheets, escaping her adopted family, when Sir Richard stumbled upon her in the act. Orphaned at twelve and sent to live with relatives, Pen is now seventeen and being ‘cursed’ with a large fortune, she’s being pressurised to marry her cousin. Deciding to escape while she can and make her way to her childhood home in Somerset, she’s waylaid by Richard who, out of a strange sense of duty, is compelled to prevent a young female from travelling across the country alone. With Pen posing as a boy and Richard as her tutor, the pair get into their fair share of trouble with a gang of thieves and a murder investigation. This isn’t the quite the anonymous journey that either of them planned!