Alexander Waters has been sent by his mother to escort his wild, free spirited sister through a season in London, and to make sure she is married off to a 'decent' Englishman. There are strong hints that Mary Elizabeth has tried her mother's patience mightily and this is the result. There are definite references throughout that make it obvious that none of the siblings want to be on the short end of their mother's ire. Mary Elizabeth is a fun-filled young lady who is nothing like the English misses Alex so decries. Climbing hemp ropes and sword fights are the least of her past times.
On the other hand, Catherine Middlebrook is one of those gently bred English misses (at least on the outside) so decried. We know that the real Catherine is a strong young woman, supportive and willing to sacrifice everything for one season to secure her family's fortune. Her plan is to marry respectably, if not we'll, thereby ensuring that her family is lifted out of their straightened circumstances. Unfortunately, all Catherine's efforts are plagued at every turn by the behaviour of her mother. Her mother's inability to face the reality of their circumstances has far reaching consequences.
Alex and Catherine meet when Catherine befriends Mary Elizabeth. Alex is drawn to her, although he has no plans to marry. Indeed his mother instructed him and his brother Robert that they were not to come back from London married. (It's obvious that their English mother has taken up her adopted country with a vengeance. It seem she rules her children with an iron hand.)
Catherine and Alex are drawn to each other, but their paths lie in different directions. However the heart sometimes has other ideas, and circumstances can muddle a person's thinking. I enjoyed the antics of all involved and look forward to the next in the series.
A NetGalley ARC