When dazzling Horatia married the powerful Earl of Rule, she was only saving her sister from a loveless match, rescuing her family fortune, and providing herself with a life of ease. Hers was a marriage made not in heaven but in the coolly logical mind of a very self-possessed young. Everyone knows she's no beauty, but she'll do her best to keep out of the Earl's way and make him a good wife.
Not until Horatia was deep in dangerous intrigue with her husband's vengeful rival, the dashing and arrogant Lord Lethbridge, did she suddenly find -- to her own tremulous surprise -- she had fallen deeply in love with the man she had married for money. But was it too late, now that she was but a heartbeat away from betraying both him and herself? And then, Sir Robert, sets out to ruin her reputation...
The Earl of Rule has found just the wife he wants, unbeknownst to Horatia, the Earl is enchanted by her. There's simply no way he's going to let her get into trouble. Overcoming some misguided help from Horatia's harebrained brother and a hired highwayman, the Earl routs his old enemy, and wins over his young wife, gifting her with a love that she never thought she could expect.
Comment: I'm trying to finish the books I have by some authors and Georgette is one of them. Also, this book suited the theme for this month in the book challenge I've joined.
This is the story of Horatia and the earl Rule. Rule proposed to Lizzie, Horatia's older sister, but Lizzie is in love with someone else, someone poor but she's accepted the proposal because she feels it's her duty to her family. Horatia knows this and decides to attempt to save her sister's happiness by approaching Rule and saying that if he marries her, he'll be doing her sister a favor and he would still marry someone from her traditional and dignified family.
Rule accepts and they get married but there's an age difference between them and Horatia thinks he's to old to concern himself with her, so she tries to stay away from his life and does what she pleases. However, some people don't seem to accept the couple could be together happily and they set to show how such a difference proves Rule and Horatia should be apart. Besides, Horatia is only 17 and she lives a carefree life, which provokes a certain reckless side of her. In the end, Rule has to find a way to show Horatia how to be more steady on her behavior and to see there's a real relationship between them.
As always, the author wrote a great story, full of details and proper language to best feel the time of the story. The reader can easily understand the rules of the time and how society would react and behave in those days because everything has a sense of propriety and rightness. My favorite thing in her books is how the characters can do some adventurous thing and everything is told in a funny but disciplined way. It's like the reader can see the characters and how they dealt with the paradox of behaving badly but always with grace. At least, it feels like it.
The story was funny, specially the end offered some scenes I couldn't stop laughing at. I enjoyed seeing Rule trying to control Horatia and teaching her the lesson she needed. She acted without care but her husband was there to catch her and help. It was very subtle how they fell in love and despite the fact part of me wishes they could be more passionate about it, it wouldn't be the same thing, so...
One thing bothered me, how mistresses were portrayed in the book, I know they existed and how they would accept a married man and how a man would consider having one as normal and expected but to my modern eyes it still feels like a rock in my shoe.
In the end I was happy to have read the book and spent a great time with it. Despite this, I still think Sylvester to be a much better one.The last one I have to read is Cottillion, I hope it's a good one too.