by Jude Deveraux

This book was a very fast read. I started it around 6pm and finished it around 1:30am…during that time, I also fixed dinner and watched a couple of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3.

Set in the early 1900s, the heroine of this book, Temperance O’Neil, spent a majority of her life as a champion of destitute, abandoned women in New York City. Due the patriarchal laws in force at the time, her freedoms and work were interrupted at the age of 29 when her mother, a widow of 12-years, married a Scotsman. The new stepfather had very old-fashioned views on what was proper for a woman. Since he controlled the inheritance left to her and her mother by her father, Temperance was forced to temporarily abandon her work in New York City and accompany her mother and stepfather to Edinburgh.

Temperance had a brilliant plan to “act the dutiful daughter” to her new Stepfather by joining and hosting innumerable “acceptable” charity organizations – all the while dressed in the height of fashion…which was all funded by the unlucky stepfather. This would of course drive the poor man to the brink of sanity where the only course of action would be to ship her back to NYC with an allowance and permission to continue the good works to which she was devoted. Her plan worked to a point. Stepdad would let her go only after she accepted the task of finding a wife for his nephew, Laird James McCairn – a 35-year-old, nearly destitute, but drop-dead-gorgeous laird of the Clan McCairn - while posing as his housekeeper.

Temperance of course can’t let James know that she was sent to find him a wife and James of course has no intention of getting married. Add into the mix James illegitimate son, a multitude of colorful villagers, a flock of sheep, prize racing horses, a mansion in extreme disrepair not to mention dirty beyond all imagination, and hidden treasure and poof…there you have a book I just couldn’t make myself put down!

Posted by jfer at April 5, 2004 12:38 AM | TrackBack

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