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Monday Puzzler > Puzzler May 5, 2014: An Unlikely Attraction

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message 1: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
This is the beginning of one of my favorites by this author. She always manages to breathe fresh life into the most hackneyed of tropes. I thought this one was fun and surprisingly moving.


Hampshire, England

August 1852

Anyone who had ever read a novel knew that governesses were supposed to be meek and downtrodden. They were also supposed to be quiet, subservient and obedient, not to mention deferential to the master of the house. Hero wondered in exasperation why they couldn't have gotten one of those. Instead the Hero family had hired Heroine, who, in Hero's opinion, cast an unflattering shadow upon the entire profession.

It wasn't that Hero found fault with Heroine's actual abilities. She had done an excellent job of instructing his two youngest sisters, Sister 1 and Sister 2, in the finer points of social etiquette. And they had needed an inordinate amount of help, since none of the Surnames's had ever expected to mingle in the upper circles of British society. They had been reared in a strictly middle-class environment, in a village west of London. Their father had been a medieval history scholar, considered a man of good blood but hardly an aristocrat.

However, after a series of unlikely events, Hero had inherited the title of Lord Title. Although he had trained to be an architect, he was now a viscount with land and tenants. The Surnames had moved to the Title estate in Hampshire, where they had struggled to adjust to the demands of their new life.

One of the greatest challenges for the Surname sisters had been to learn the absurd multitude of rules and graces expected of privileged young ladies. Had it not been for Heroine's patient instruction, the Surnames would have rampaged through London with all the finesse of stampeding elephants. Heroine had done wonders for all of them, especially Sister 2, who was undoubtedly the most eccentric sister of an already eccentric family. Although Sister 2 was happiest romping through the meadows and woods like a wild creature, Heroine had managed to impress on her that a different code of behavior was required in the ballroom. She had even written a series of etiquette poems for the girls, with such literary gems as:

Young ladies must display restraint

When speaking with a stranger

Flirtations, quarrels or complaints

Put our reputations in danger

Naturally Hero hadn't been able to resist mocking Heroine's poetic abilities, but he had to admit privately that her methods had worked. Sister 1 and Sister 2 had successfully navigated a London season, at last. And Sister 1 had recently married a hotelier named First name Last Name.

Now only Sister 2 was left. Heroine had assumed the role of chaperone and companion to the energetic nineteen year-old. As far as the rest of the Surnames were concerned, Heroine was practically a member of the family.

Hero, for his part, couldn't abide the woman. She aired her opinions at will and dared to give orders to him. On the rare occasions when Hero tried to be friendly, she snapped at him or turned away in scorn. When he stated a perfectly rational opinion, he could hardly finish a sentence before Heroine had listed all the reasons why he was wrong.

Faced with the immutable fact of her dislike, Hero couldn't help but respond in kind. All during the past year he had tried to convince himself that it didn't matter if she despised him. There were many women in London who were infinitely more beautiful, engaging and appealing than Heroine.

If only she didn’t fascinate him so...

message 2: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2063 comments Mod
Yes this is a lovely book. Very playful and not at all what I had expected for Hero from the earlier books in the series. Nice choice!

message 3: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
I thought so, too!

message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine (cag2840) | 1 comments This is my favorite book of the series!

message 5: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 320 comments This certainly looks familiar. I wonder if it is one I read not so long ago....

message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 992 comments What a fun one! I think I know it.

message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber | 161 comments It seems familiar... if I haven't read it yet, then I'm going to, if I have then it's going in the re-read pile.

message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments Excellent choice. One of my favorites by this author, definitely my favorite of the series.

message 9: by Daniellegn (new)

Daniellegn | 199 comments This is from the first book I read from this author. I loved it so much, I immediately had to go out and devour the rest in the series and another series and some stand alones. After all that, this became my second favorite in the series. Great pick!

message 10: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2063 comments Mod
Ok Manda, you can post the answer now....

message 11: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
Sorry! I always forget this part...It's Married By Morning by Lisa Kleypas. One of my favorites!

message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 992 comments Loved it!
Hero is such a damaged soul, yet Heroine gives him no mercy... (evil laugh)... so he had to overcome his demons on his own!

message 13: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
I had no idea when I chose a Lisa Kleypas historical this week, but she announced on Facebook the other day that she's just signed a deal to write a historical series as well as more contemporary novels for Avon! Pretty cool:)

message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber | 161 comments I knew it sounded familiar, now I want to reread the series, started Amelia and Cam's story last night!

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