Lord Desmond Ryder was in quite a dilemma.
He believed he was in love with the beautiful, cool Annabelle Windibank, but the chit had rejected him once already. Desmondís mother, brother, and even his servants saw Miss Windibank for what she really was. A cold fish out to get every penny that was possible. But Desmond paid them no heed and that is where we meet him, standing in front of his mirror, contemplating what to do about the love of his heart and the feelings of his family.
Miss Susan Doyle was in an equally dire dilemma.
She was to be married to her cousin, Mortimer, against her will to keep her motherís fortune in the family. Ashamed of herself for being bullied into agreeing to marry the toad, Susan stashes her motherís jewels in a box and slips out the door and into Lord Desmondís path.
Desmond is on his way to see Annabelle at a party to the north of London, and after several comical stops which lead him into rescuing a cat and a cart with a wheel in the mud, he decides that nothing aside from God Himself could delay him further.
And then Susan Doyle steps out into the path of his charging team.
Mystified by the independent nature of Miss Doyle, Desmond agrees to help her get to London to her Aunt Theodosia. But upon arriving to London, they find that Susanís aunt isnít at home, and shouldnít return for another week. Thus finding this, Desmond insists on Susan having dinner with him, even though he chances a scandal. She accepts, and they hatch a plan so she can stay with him until her aunt returns. She will become another person who will disappear once Aunt Theo has returned.
Over the next few days, Desmond grows to admire Susan, and Susan grows to love Desmond. What has happened to Miss Windibank, you might be asking? She has found that sheís lost Desmondís attention and her list of suitors is growing poorer financially with each passing day.
Desperate, she tries everything in her power to thwart the love growing between Susan and Desmond. But it is all for naught, and after Susan has a long stay with her Aunt Theo and a partial season in London, Desmond is determined to prove his love, and does so in a wonderful way that made me sigh with contentment.
Joy Reed wove a wonderful story full of wit and emotion and I have to say that I loved this book and very much look forward to more by her. What I really loved about this book was that Susan was so independent, which is something that I had always come to expect from Regencies, but havenít seen it as much lately.
If you find a copy of Lord Desmondís Destiny in the bookstore, do not miss out on it!