I have been waiting for Mary Elizabeth Waters' story ever since I first viewed her sword fighting in Hyde Park. Knife carrying, horse whisperer, marriage avoiding, feisty and endearing young Highlander woman that she is. Mary Elizabeth's main objective is to avoid marriage and flee back to her beloved highlands, despite the iron will of her demanding English mother.
Now is Mary Elizabeth's time. Mary had been sent by her mother (well exiled really) along with two of her brothers to England to marry. However she just kept getting into hot water. Not for nothing did the ton label her the Hellion of Hyde Park. Hellion! Highlander! Both of the aforementioned and a whole lot more. Mary Elizabeth is a gem, an original! I love her. When her mother sends her to a house party in Northumberland at the home of one of her oldest friends, with a view to marrying her friend's son, Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, Mary Elizabeth goes fully determined to pay no attention to the fat recluse Duke. And right there we have the hook on which swings all the following hilarity, comic relief, misunderstandings and intrigue.
When Mary mistakes the Duke for a stable hand, the commoner Harry, well things are gleefully set for a different time than the recluse Harold Percy had envisioned. He is looking to view the primed tepid misses who will be at the party with a view to finding a duchess he will rub well enough along with. All for the sake of his mother and his duty as the Duke. What he doesn't expect is a young woman who will challenge him at every step.
Funny, sweet and a little tear enduring moments ensue as Mary Elizabeth finds herself struggling with the schism between her heart's desires and her longings for her native Highlands.