An engaging story based on the premise of the laws pertaining to guardianship in the Regency era. As Quinn explains in her Author's Note, 'Very few women were given sole guardianship of their own children, and almost never if one of the children happened to be a boy or an heir. ... Once a mother remarried, she could not have guardianship of her children at all ... married women were not legally allowed to have guardianship. ... Once she lost even partial guardianship, she could be barred from seeing her children.'
So, what is Patience the Dowager Countess of Worthington to do when widowed, unable to be guardian to her own children, re-meets the man she'd loved forever, Viscount Richard Wolverton. The man who'd left her heartbroken to travel thus having her lot cast by her father--wedding the bridegroom of his choice, Worthington! We do hear from Richard a slightly different version, although he does admit to his confused youth.
Now twenty years and four children later, the encounter shows that Patience that Richard still makes her feel giddy.
The thing is Patience doesn't want to be separated from her children Ah! It seems that she's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't!
Of course there's a cad sneaking around, lusting after Patience, witnessed in a most unpleasant encounter. I too was slightly shocked by the cad's verbal insinuations.