Flashback. . .2005
Prudence and her brother Robin, lately involved in the failed attempt to put Bonnie Prince Charlie on the throne, switch roles and flee to England on their father’s orders. Outside of London, they encounter Letitia Grayson, a heiress who is having second thoughts about eloping with Gregory Markham. Kate (Robin) and Peter (Prue) Merriot rescue the girl, and deliver her into the capable hands of Sir Anthony Fanshawe, family friend of the Graysons. Prue finds herself attracted to the likable Sir Anthony as Robin is falls in love with Letty. The siblings’ plans to lay low in London are dashed. Sir Anthony has taken an interest in the young Peter, especially since “he” has gained an enemy in Gregory Markham. Prue is worried that Sir Antony might suspect they are fugitives. To complicate things even more, the Old Gentleman, Prue and Robin’s father, arrives in London claiming to be the true Viscount Robert Tremaine of Barham.
Author: Georgette Heyer
ISBN: 0-373-83606-6 (Harlequin)
Who: Prudence Tremaine and Sir Anthony Fanshawe
When: 1746 — failed attempt to put Bonnie Prince Charlie on the throne of England
Delightful book! So far, it is one of my favorites. The cross-dressing plot is put to good use: the pair are fugitives and adventurers, used to assuming a different identity. This allows for the heroine to do and say things she would never be allowed to as a woman. It also shows what a capable person she is. Prue is calm, level-headed, strong, and brave. These are the qualities Sir Anthony loves about her. Her maturity and good sense are more attractive to him than all of Letty’s beauty and femininity combined. As for Sir Anthony, he is likeable, sensible, and laid back. He’s friendly, humorous, and takes everything in stride, even going so far as to dance with Kate, knowing full well it’s Robin, and then springing Prue from the law enforcement officials who are escorting the erstwhile Mr. Merriot back to London on murder charges. Then there is the Old Gentleman, the most comical and over-the-top character in the book. The word “simple” has no meaning to him. His schemes are complicated to the point that Robin must rescue Letty from Markham again. He leaves even Sir Anthony dumbfounded and speechless!
“I have never met the man who had vision large enough to appreciate my genius. Perhaps it was to be expected.”
“I shall hope to have my vision enlarged as I become better acquainted with you, sir.”
“I shall stand alone to the end. It is undoubtedly my fate.”
— The Old Gentleman and Sir Anthony