Brought to you by OBS reviewer Monica
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
Annalise Avery would rather run away than marry the despicable man her stepfather has chosen for her. All he wants is her fortune anyway. Escaping with two servants, Annalise takes employment at Lord Gardiner’s town house, disguised as a housekeeper. No one suspects that the new housekeeper for his wild lordship’s London pied-à-tierre is a diamond of the first water and a famous horsewoman.
But as Annalise becomes familiar with Gardiner’s tomcatting, she vows to thwart the despicable man and his lascivious ways. Sleeping powders in the wine and fleas in the bed do just the trick!
In the meanwhile, his lordship has grown quite preoccupied by the very mysterious Lady in Green who rides through the park atop a magnificent steed, spurring hearts young and old–including his own! (Goodreads)
This is generally not my genre of choice and the cover put me off but the synopsis sounded interesting so I chose it to review. Boy am I glad I did. I laughed through much of this book!
The book opens with Annalise overhearing a conversation between her step-father and the man she’s been promised to since childhood, Barny. After hearing that Barny has a mistress and intends to carry on the relationship, Annalise calls off the marriage. Her step-father, not wanting to lose control of her inheritance, gives her the option to marry Barny or be committed. After he leaves for a special license, Annalise runs away to her former nanny, Henny, and her husband Rob. Together they run away to her Aunt Rosalind, who just happens to be out of town. Given very little choice they decide to hide out as servants while waiting for Rosalind’s return.Annalise disguises herself as a hag named Annie.
Meanwhile, the house has been rented out to Lord Gardiner(Gard), who has chosen to use the house to bring his latest conquests out of respectable society’s gossip’s reach. Annalise takes offense to this and doesn’t want her reputation to be ruined and finds creative ways to sabotage each encounter which in turn affects Gard’s reputation.
Annalise is an excellent horsewoman and enjoys a daily ride in the park. Gard encounters her there one morning and becomes entranced with the mystery woman. After an altercation, he becomes her escort for her daily rides and starts to piece together her identity.
Barny and her step-father discover her location and do their best to get her to return to them. Mayhem ensues with somewhat hilarious results.
All in all Annalise is a strong woman which is rare for pieces taking place during this time period. While starting off as a cad, Gard does redeem himself on different occasions in my eyes.
Henny and Rob seem to be wonderful people and show their love and support for Annalise.
There are a few other minor characters who also turned out to be wonderful. I am hoping for a story for Cholly and Mignon.
Whether you like historical romances or not, if you want an entertaining read, this book is for you. Don’t let the cover put you off either. This is definitely a case of don’t judge a book by it’s cover.