Never did Alexander “Ace” Endicott, the Earl of Carde, imagine himself to be thrice-betrothed against his will by the doings of three desperate debutantes. So he escapes London to his property in the country, where he follows through with his deceased father’s last wish-to find his long-lost step-sister. His search takes a detour and leads him to Nell, who piques his interest. Now, Ace may have to reconsider his rejection of marriage and see if two mismatched lovers can make a royal pair.
1st in the House of Cards trilogy
Author: Barbara Metzger
ISBN: 0-451-21626-1 (Signet)
Finished: 9 June 2006
Who: Alexander Chalfont Endicott, Earl of Carde, and Eleanor Sloan
Alex and Nell are not the paragons of physical perfections you normally come across in romance. Alex has poor eyesight, wears spectacles, and has a rather beaky nose. He’s also somewhat marriage shy and cautious. Nell isn’t a stunning beauty and is mostly happy being a country miss, taking care of a batty old lady and her own brother.
Like several of Georgette Heyer’s heroes, Alex sets off to take care of a particular task — find out what happened to his half-sister Charlotte — but gets embroiled into something else entirely. Before he knows it, he’s consulting an old woman who chats with dead people, being attack by a over protective and jealous gander, nearly mauled to death by a horse, and fending off the advances of a very determined daughter of a duke. His rewards for all this suffering are (1) several pieces to the puzzle surrounding the death of his step-mother and the disappearance of his half-sister, and (2) a countess of Carde.
I hope we see more of Aunt Hazel, the late Countess of Carde’s batty relative. She talks to dead people and is a riot.