STORY: Lady Imaculata Anne Egremont has appeared in the scandalous pages of the “London List” often enough. The reading public is so bored with her nonsense, she couldn’t make news now unless she took a vow of chastity. But behind her naughty hijinks is a terrible fear. It’s time the List helped her. With a quick scan through its job postings and a few whacks at her ridiculous name, she’s off to keep house for a bachelor veteran as plain Anne Mont.
Major Gareth Ripton-Jones is dangerously young and handsome on the face of it, but after losing his love and his arm in short order, he is also too deep in his cups to notice that his suspiciously young housekeeper is suspiciously terrible at keeping house. Until, that is, her sharp tongue and her burnt coffee penetrate even his misery–and the charm underneath surprises them both. Trust the worst cook in Wales to propose a most unexpected solution to his troubles. . .
REVIEW: Major Gareth Ripton-Jones survives the war and returns to his home ready to marry his long-time love, the widow Bronwyn. While helping to fix a roof, he falls and shatters his arm which results in it needing to be amputated. Bronwyn is now turned off by his appearance and refuses to marry him and later, she is found murdered and the townspeople now think Gareth is her murderer. That’s when Gareth decides to dive into a gin bottle to dull his pain.
Lady Imaculata Anne Egremont is running from London trying to escape her scandalous past and her lecherous father, Lord Egremont. In order to hide from her past, she applies for a job as housekeeper at Ripton Hall, in Llanwyr Wales and the home of our hero. Armed with a copy of The Complete Housewife to help her be able to do the job, she decides to darken her red hair and call herself Mrs. Anne Mont.
Upon arrival, she finds the Major drunk, disheveled and the house in a filthy shambles. Knowing she needs this job, she does her best to try and clean the house and do some basic cooking, but unfortunately even her coffee is quite disgusting as pointed out to her by the Major.
Slowly they get to know one another better and Anne works at trying to get Gareth to sober up and straighten his life back. She also realizes that the only way for her to escape her father, she should wed, and thus proposes a marriage of convenience to Gareth. The union would allow her to demand part of her inheritance from her father, which they could use to fix up Gareth’s home.
But then the accidents begin to happen and they realize that someone is trying to hurt them. Could it be Bronwyn’s real murderer?
While the basic plot here was fine, the explicit and gratuitous sex scenes were totally overdone. I’m not a prude but I think they could have been tamed down somewhat. I understand that Anne wanted to escape her father and the scandalous escapades of her past, but I could not understand why she would settle to live in the near-squalor of Gareth’s home especially having grown up in the lap of luxury.
Connie for b2b
*Book provided by my local library.