by Kathryn Kirkwood

December 2001
ISBN: 0-8217-6853-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Tessa finds out on the death of her Grandmother that she was adopted. She finds she is no longer welcome in the family that adopted her as they now realise she is not a blood relative. On her 18th birthday she discovers her real Grandmother, whom she never knew, has left her a Townhouse and a small income.

Tessa then sets out to live as an independent young woman with her companion Daisy. Harry, a young man about town rents the rooms above the stable as an office where he prints a small magazine called the On-Dit, which parodies the stuffier members of society. This leads to many hilarious incidents.

There are many plots in this novel and it moves along at a swift pace. Tessa is a wonderful heroine, thoroughly likeable and amusing. Harry is tall dark and handsome with a great sense of humour but though he aims his sharp wit towards the nobility, he himself is really a Duke. He doesn’t tell Tessa this fact and he feels he cannot pursue a romance with her because he couldn’t offer her marriage, as she isn’t in his social circle. Tessa is totally unaware of this and finds herself very much attracted to this dashing young man.

Kathryn Kirkwood has a wonderful feel for characterisation, and secondary characters like Daisy are well thought out. Daisy, as Tessa’s companion, enhances the story so much. Then there is Emily, the suitable young woman that Harry should offer for; Emily is not all she seems and Ms. Kirkwood lets the reader see this in glimpses as the story unfolds.

The Regency period and its social façade are penetrated deeply by Ms Kirkwood. While she exposes the Ton for the snobbery that exists within, she does it with humour and wit. I really enjoyed this story and it is the kind of book a reader would put on a keeper shelf to read again as the story has so much to offer.

Reviewed in February 2002 by Mary.

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