Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Little Nobody

Rate this book
She didn't know the facts of her own life

But somehow Ynis realized that she didn't quite belong in Gard's world. Gard St. Clair, embittered by the accident that had ended his career, was as mysterious and wild as his house on the stormy Cornish cliffs.

And Ynis was going to marry him — or so he told her. But what could such an experienced man want of Ynis, the convent-reared girl who had lost her memory?

Especially when his old love, the beautiful Stella Marrick, was his for the asking....

189 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 1, 1972

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Violet Winspear

224 books119 followers
Violet Winspear was born on 28 April 1928 in London, England. She worked in a factory since 1942, when in 1961 she sold her first romance novels to Mills & Boon. In 1963, she became a full-time writer. She wrote from her home in the south-east England, that she never left, but she meticulously researched her far-flung settings at the local library. She never married, and had no children, but she inspired her nephew Jonathan to write. Violet died at January 1989 after a long battle with cancer.

She said: "The real aim of romance is to provide escape and entertainment", but she created a maelstrom when in 1970 she commented: "I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate. They must be the sort of men who are capable of rape: men it's dangerous to be alone in the room with." The comment, that they were 'capable of rape' caused uproar and lead to her receiving hate mail. Interestingly, she railed against the work of authors such as Harold Robbins. Winspear's forte was creating and sustaining sexual tension between her characters while building fantastic worlds.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
13 (11%)
4 stars
31 (27%)
3 stars
34 (30%)
2 stars
20 (17%)
1 star
15 (13%)
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Naksed.
2,987 reviews
January 18, 2022
Hero is a world class conductor who lost his right arm in an accident five years before, and then lost his actress fiancée because she was too horrified by his amputation. Since then, he has been living like a Broody Beast in his Castle, dubbed Seawitch as it is perched atop a cliff in between the Cornwall moors and the Atlantic sea. Heroine is a poor little waif straight from the convent that hero stumbles upon and decides to use ruthlessly to score against the ex-fiancée, who is somehow back in the picture. It is obvious that his hate and thirst for revenge against the ex is as passionate as the love/lust he burns with for her, despite everything she put him through.

The OW is a succubus straight from the pits of hell who abuses a poor chestnut mare, pushing her to her death by leading her to a bog, where the poor horse drowns. I was disgusted that she got no comeuppance for the abuse of an innocent animal. Instead she was waited on hand and foot by the worthless hero and managed to scare off the wimpy waif. Didn’t feel this one AT ALL 😡
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dianna.
536 reviews90 followers
June 29, 2016
I hadn’t realised until I picked up this book that I would find such perfection: a one armed hero and a convent raised heroine with amnesia.

Ynis is skinny and plain. She’s lived in a convent since she was five years old, and the nuns are sceptical of her abilities to cope with the outside world. She chalks this up to her plainness – if she’d had better man-catching features, they would have been more supportive.

Ynis is off to live with her dad. He’s not her real dad – her mother married him when Ynis was 2, and skipped out when Ynis was 5, and Ynis has been in the convent ever since. It’s a very tenuous relationship, but he’s family (sort of) and Ynis has been looking forward to taking him in hand. She plans to train him to be a decent human being. Then Gard St Clair, master of Sea Witch, thwarts her optimistic plans.

See, her dad is a bit of a crook. He went to see Gard and tried to persuade him to donate money for the support of his poor injured daughter in a convent. Knowing he was going to be hoodwinked, Gard wrote a cheque which the dad duly washed and stuck in a higher amount. Gard had the dad arrested, and Ynis has turned up at Sea Witch in a last desperate attempt to persuade Gard to drop at least some of the charges, because her dad’s not a bad man, really. Ynis is confident that, given the chance, she could sort him out.

I am often baffled by these desperate pleas to heroes to allow crooks to get away with stuff. Maybe I’m missing an empathy switch? I mean, this isn’t someone wrongfully accused of a crime. The heroine isn’t desperately pleading for more time to find the evidence to rescue a loved one. I’m totally on board for that. And this wasn’t even a victimless crime, and the hero is really disgusted by it, because he knew he was being conned by someone who thought his disability made him vulnerable.

Ynis, realising that Gard isn’t budging, despite her desperate ‘oh come on!’ plea, decides to smash a porcelain lady. She’s glad it’s in smithereens! Gard very calmly, tells her she’s to pick up every piece. He has a cat, and he doesn’t want it getting hurt on shards. Aww, he has a cat, and he wants to protect it! From here on in, he’ll have to turn into an axe murderer for me to not like him.

Just a warning: in this book the heroine does come across a panicked animal on the verge of death. It’s all accidental, but it’s also horrible.

Ynis cuts her finger picking up porcelain shards. Gard rolls his eyes and fetches her a band aid. It’s all dark and stormy outside, but Ynis is leaving. And she’s not paying for that broken lady, either. She only has about a pound and change, so she’s fairly destitute. As she walks down the road, blinded and chilled by the howling storm, Ynis reflects on how terrible her life is. No money, her only (sort of) relative is in the clink, no job prospects, no man to take her out to fancy restaurants. Luckily, before she can get really depressed, she’s hit by a car. She tumbles into a ditch, the car speeds off, she loses consciousness.

And wakes up three weeks later in a plush room with a big engagement ring on her finger. She has closets full of clothes with silk labels, and shoes, and handbags, and makeup. Oh how nice to be rich, she thinks. I wonder what my name is? She has amnesia.

Gard explains that they are engaged. When they are married, they will have sex. Lots of times. I am translating, because he talks about an heir, but this is pre-90s code for ‘once the book ends, you’d better believe I am on you like a rocket.’ I like reading between the lines when I know there isn’t going to be any sex in the book. It’s fun to imagine that there’s been this whole twenty-minute dirty lecture about what he’s going to do, and what he’s going to teach her to do to him, and where they’re going to do it, and how often, which leaves the heroine attempting to recoil in horror while trying to deny how incredibly turned on she is.

Ynis is very puzzled by this engagement, because she’s pretty certain she really doesn’t like Gard. Besides, she’s too plain for anyone to want to marry her, right?

And at this point, she starts calling herself ‘the little nobody’ on almost every page. Violet Winspear must have been very determined to get her way on the title! It starts feeling a bit much, but at the same time, I liked it. I could see how, with no memory, she was constructing an identity for herself and testing it out on almost everyone she met. I liked her policy of smashing porcelain rather than going in for a slap, and she seemed, for a daft little heroine with no worldly experience, to have a bit of brain.

Gard has no time for women banging on about their looks. He’s not about to indulge her at this point and tell her that she’s gorgeous and a man magnet, but she so is. Everyone’s always banging on about her enormous green eyes and her youthful skin. Her eyes are particularly important, since Gard has made an error in judgement and given her a sapphire, which clearly clashes.

I loved Gard. I don’t know how old Ynis is, I’d guess somewhere in the 18-22 range, but he’s 36. He’s very opinionated and strong, and can carry Ynis around and he’s super sexy, but I totally got that he was a big softy on the inside. Maybe he didn’t want to admit it to himself, but he’d totally lost it over Ynis, and was willing to stop at nothing to possess her.

Before he lost his arm (which he won’t talk about), he was a famous conductor and a composer. Now he lives in the wilds in a fantastically gothic mansion doing farming things. He’s modernised about half the mansion. The theatricality of the style is also a clue for suspicious Ynis that he isn’t at all in love with her. He had a sensitive soul, and sure he was a little mean to Ynis, and the whole taking advantage of a girl with amnesia thing isn’t particularly noble. But it was awesome.

See, Gard’s cousin Stella, a beautiful blonde actress, has gotten wind of his engagement and is sweeping up from London for a visit. Gard and Stella were a couple (for anyone a bit squeamish about cousins, they are second cousins) until Gard’s accident. He’d been planning to ask Stella to marry him. She rejected him when he lost his arm.

Ynis, discovering all this, is all for Gard marrying Stella. If they are in love, they should be together. Ynis is all ‘let me go, marry the woman you love!’ while beaming massive love-heart bat signals out of her enormous eyes. Although, naturally, she spends a lot of the book not liking him very much at all. But it’s love! Good thing she doesn’t remember him throwing her out in the rain.

Stella, inevitably, is a bitch. But then, Ynis reasons, Gard has his own nasty side. She and Stella’s companion, a sexy, cardigan-wearing Frenchman, discuss how Gard and Stella are like tigers and have the creative-beauty-drama in their sparkly souls and belong together.

Monsieur Cardigan gets rather into Ynis, and can see why Gard likes her so much. He’s also the one who provides Ynis with the graphic details of Gard’s accident. He was pretty nice, but since I was so into Gard I didn’t have a moment of thinking maybe Ynis would be better off with him. Besides, while some allowances must be made for 70s fashions, Gard would never have been seen dead in a cardigan.

I had such a good time with this book.
Profile Image for *CJ*.
4,067 reviews449 followers
April 22, 2022
"The Little Nobody" is the story of Ynis and Gard.

Our heroine is a sad waif who has grown up in a convent. She meets the hero to beg for her father's life- the father who embellished money from him and is in jail as a consequence. Our hero is a world famous composer who became a recluse on losing an arm... and his fiancé. When her efforts fail, she runs only to have an accident and as a result, amnesia.
She wakes up and finds herself engaged to the hero- soon realizing it is a charade to entice his ex fiance/ cousin who is coming back into his life. There's a lot of verbal spar and angry kisses, they both say mean things but end up together.

Minimal chemistry, an unintentional daddy joke but I still enjoyed parts of it. I am never sure how they end up together in such books LOL.

Profile Image for Leona.
1,724 reviews18 followers
December 25, 2012
I happened to stumble on this one as I was looking at another good read review, and I thought I would give it a try. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. What a pleasant surprise. I actually rate this one 4.5 stars.

Our hero is one vicious dude who is bitter by the fact that he lost an arm in a tragic accident which ended his successful career as a concert maestro. Our heroine is young, virginal having been raised all her life in a convent when her mother abandoned her. Yet she is strong, feisty and I couldn't help but admire her.

Their first meeting is a volatile encounter.. She is forced to flee his house in teeming rain and is in a tragic accident that almost kills her. She ends up with amnesia and wakens in a beautiful bedroom only to be told that she is the hero's fiancé. Now how did that happen? The rest of the book is the twist and turns of this really bizarre relationship. Seems hero wants to use her as bait to make OW jealous. He goes so far as to dress her in the courtier's clothes that OW uses, gives her the ring that was bought for OW (matches OW's eye's)...even goes so far as to actually stage a heavy make out session knowing that OW will walk in on them.

Not exactly the best scenario for love to grow. But in true Violet Winspear fashion, she makes it happen and had me hooked from page 1.

My only regret is that everything concluded a little too quickly and left somethings unanswered.
Profile Image for Fiona Marsden.
Author 33 books117 followers
April 20, 2012
I really needed a good old fashioned read and there is nothing like a bitter, alpha male hero who's lost his arm tragically in a car accident which ended his career as a world famous conductor treating a young woman raised in a convent and suffering from amnesia with cold hard brutality to really brighten your day. This is a May December romance and Gard St Clair is the classic cold hearted Winspear hero who tricks Ynis into becoming his fiancee after she loses her memory when he turned her from the house on a cold miserable night. Frightened of this harsh stranger at first, Ynis comes to pity him and then to love him but of course she knows his heart is still with the beautiful Stella, his cousin who was to marry him before his accident robbed him of everything. This is classic stuff with a bit of rough handling from the hero of the innocent who finds herself strangely attracted to this seemingly unlikeable man. A comfortable secondary male character wanders into the plot to complicate things and it takes a fairly dramatic denouement from the nasty ex fiancee to precipitate matters to the final conclusion. Winspear's heroes always start of so harsh and cruel but are invariably revealed to be soft as butter on a summers day once the heroine melts their heart.
Profile Image for Jenny.
3,090 reviews466 followers
March 30, 2014
Engagement of convenience story. Heroine is a nun with amnesia, hero is a disabled ex composer, there is a bitchy OW, a charming OM and some nice angst. I enjoyed it but I wish there was more interaction between the H/h!
Profile Image for Mudpie.
856 reviews6 followers
September 16, 2016
Another I hate you - I'm scared of you 99% of book and then wham I love you on the last 1% (or last page!) The author seemed fond of dragging out the heroine's angst and the hero acts all macho and fatherly calling the heroine 'child!' ...gross! Though I kind of liked that the characters usually have unique names like Ynis for the heroine here. Gard is also unusual so it must be a trend thingy. 2* are given plot wise...how Gard came to lose his arm tragically and his hatred for petty thieves. The scenery and setting is always beautifully described and it's known the author extensively researched her exotic locales as settings for her books. Having read about 5/6 of her highest rated books I can definitely see a pattern to her plots and style. I really wish the author could write her endings better. Maybe less abrupt and more closures?
Profile Image for Kay.
1,783 reviews97 followers
March 5, 2012
I have always adored Violet Winspear's stories. While this one was published in 1973, I find it hold the test of time. Our heroine is of course quite young, as was common in the early Presents. The hero is bitter and trying to find his way in a brand new life as his life as a composer and symphony conductor was robbed from him in a brutal accident. And as in all the early Presents we don't see the heroes POV until the end of the book when he declares his love, but that doesn't keep this book from being a delightful read.
Profile Image for Jacqueline J.
3,466 reviews316 followers
June 12, 2017
Maybe 3-1/2 stars. This was a pretty fun old read. Very typical of the HPs of its time. The hero is older and bitter the heroine is just out of the convent. Nice involved story but the heroine actually spent more page time with the OM. My biggest complaint is that the end was MUCH too quick. Also many times you can see the hero falling in love even though there is no POV from him. This time I didn't really see it. I think probably because there was so little shown of the two of them actually interacting without someone else being there.

So all in all interesting and fun but it fails a bit on the romance front.
Profile Image for Megzy.
1,193 reviews49 followers
June 27, 2014
3.5 stars

Great plot, good execution, perfect setting to add an element of mystery but The ending was really rushed. It needed at the very least one more chapter.
Profile Image for Margo.
1,922 reviews65 followers
January 16, 2022
The h supposedly has no self-esteem and is outclassed by the H and the OW, but she seems to have the ability to beguile men for life. The H doesn't stand a chance.
Profile Image for Chantal ❤️.
1,361 reviews736 followers
October 14, 2015
This is my second favourite book about a hero missing an arm (first being Beloved by Diana Palmer). Omg the drama of this book is crazy and I hope he gets her a new ring cause I would not be wearing someone else's. Stella was a bitch but I loved how it was written that they had a romantic relationship and not just a physical one. Romance is about romance. Gard was a romantic hero from the word go and he stayed that way. This makes sense! It's crazy how some writer want us to believe that a character changes so much because of the love of the heroine. A romantic will always stay romantic. Super job just wished they had had an epilogue! I wanted more.
Profile Image for أجمل زهرة.
640 reviews23 followers
December 27, 2017
211 - رحلة الى المجهول
عبير الجديدة

مظلما, متوحشاً وغامضاً.
هذا هو سانت كلير.
فقد احس بالمرارة نتيجة الحادث الرهيب الذي افقده عمله.
نانسي ستتزوجه او هكذا قال لها بعدما تعافت من الحادث الذي افقدها ذاكرتها.
اضطرت لتصديقه , كما اضطرت للاعتماد عليه , حيث بدت انها لا تملك احدا غيره في هذه الدنيا . فبصريح العبارة لم يحبها, فماذا يمكن لرجل خبير باموال العالم مثل غارد من نكرة آتية من دير رهبان .
بينما امرأة مناسبة - حبه القديم الممثلة الجميلة ستيلا ماريك - هو ما يريد!
Profile Image for Nikki.
1,788 reviews4 followers
July 20, 2020
The hero is just as shocked as the rest of us that this has a happy ending! “You what?!” Honey heroine, da hell are you doing. Drop the amnesia, dumb doesn’t help the story if it was blackmail “your dad stole from me now pretend to be my fiancé” boom, the plot makes sense. Why did the hero do what he did? He says “to make other woman jealous” but the heroine had a concussion and memory loss! There was no point! He didn’t even feel guilty about doing it either! Bit of a psycho move. The two thieves needed to be the same dude otherwise it really leaves loose ends. This shit should have all be about revenge for the hero. His motivation is muddy at best. So is the other woman! She was just plain dumb, and made us reader wonder if the hero sucked if he ever liked her in the first place. The hero needed to get his music back. That’s what the heroine should have been used for, at first, which leads the couple to spend real time together. In this they don’t like at all. I think they kissed once but he called her child a lot. Heroine cared only about the convent she could t remember. Is her fake dad okay? Did that horse freaking die? Just a lot of unanswered questions and no romance to be had. Skip.
465 reviews4 followers
January 29, 2021
The book had a big potential. It only made me more disappointed. The writing was good. But for the most part of the book I didn’t feel that the heroine was attracted to the H. It seemed all she felt was fear and she only thought how to get away. It didn’t help that the author introduced the OM who seemed to have more connection with her . I wanted the H to blow hot and cold but it wasn’t much of that. When the heroine suddenly discovered that she was in love with the H I didn’t feel it until the very end when she declared her love.
I also didn’t feel much angst with the OW because the heroine didn’t seemed to care that much about the H.
I love animals. I know that the book was written a few decades ago but I didn’t appreciate the tiger or bear pelt on the floor.
I didn’t like that the author killed the poor horse. Why not rescue it somehow? It’s a fiction.
In the beginning I wanted to give at least four stars but it ended with two.
Profile Image for Ellyn (Mrs. Darcy in my Dreams).
1,410 reviews3 followers
June 14, 2022
This was a strange book! It was about a bitter, disabled H (lost an arm due to being hit by a car) and an orphan/newly released convent h. It had the amnesia trope I like because you never know how it is going to go away or what is kept secret. This had a bit of captivity due to forced engagement which was for sake of Shielding H from actress OW.

I wish the h would have gotten away from the H early in the book so that we could see her act like an adult. I love a story where a destitute h crawls to independence. But that didn’t happen until almost the end and H shows up as she is soon to get a job and live independently. I would rather see h rescue herself than be rescued by H. Sadly a horse dies in a bog due to the cruelty of the mean OW. She does not get her comeuppance!!😡
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for RomLibrary.
5,712 reviews
Shelved as 'pback-to-read'
February 9, 2021
She didn't know the facts of her own life. But somehow Ynis Raiford realized that she didn't quite belong in Gard's world. Gard St. Clair, embittered by the accident that had ended his career, was as mysterious and wild as his house on the stormy Cornish cliffs. And Ynis was going to marry him -- or so he told her. But what could such an experienced man want of Ynis, the convent-reared girl who had lost her memory? Especially when his old love, the beautiful Stella Marrick, was his for the asking.
Profile Image for Melody.
1,317 reviews29 followers
January 12, 2018
DNF at chapter 1 or 2, I couldn't remember. The heroine pissed me off at the first chapter. Her father did something wrong with the Hero, and she went there, accusing him or so (even if the accusations were true with evidence) plus attacking him with a beautiful figurine (his expensive and beautiful figurine) haha... It was nuts haha.. I just couldn't.. ahh...

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.