What can a young, headstrong heiress who is mostly Italian by nature and has the voice of an angel possibly have in common with a down-to-earth, elegant English gentleman?
That is the question posed in this charming tale by Kasey Michaels. Miss Allegra Crispino has been living in Italy, but with the death of her parents finds herself in “a bit of a spot” as they say. Valerian Fitzhugh has been sent by Allegra’s grandfather to bring her back to civilization – sorry - England!
Valerian soon finds his charge to be a handful, and although she is quite young, he can’t stop himself from being attracted very strongly to her. Returning her to her grandfather is certainly the best idea, although he knows that that sage old gentleman is as far from being the grandfatherly sort as he can get! Not only that, but the household also includes a widowed daughter-in-law, her worthless son, and a whining daughter, who has convinced herself that she is going to marry Valerian. It is to this nest of vipers that Valerian must return Allegra.
However, Allegra is not the die-away miss of your usual Regency romance – she is possessed of ze Italian temper and ze Italian intelligence, and pretty soon she is possessed of ze affections of one Valerian Fitzhugh!
This is a delightful novel – a true Regency romance! The love affair is quietly simmering between Allegra and Valerian, and all the players are word-perfect in their roles. The setting is Brighton, a very fashionable resort for the Prince Regent and his cronies, and home of his renowned Brighton Pavilion – of which a wit once said “It looks like St. Paul’s Cathedral came down to the coast and pupped!!” If you’ve ever seen photos of the pavilion you’ll understand exactly what he meant! The sea air certainly whips up the romance in this book – it’s innocent, charming, and the hero and heroine would do justice to a Jane Austen story! A definite must-read for Regency fans.