Unlike many of Georgette Heyer’s heroines, twenty-five year old Venetia Lanyon has never dreamed of having a London season and dancing at Almack’s. She has never even left Yorkshire, although she has attended some of the balls and other social events at Harrogate and York, and is mostly content with us. Partly because, also unlike most of Heyer’s heroines, Venetia has a job, one, moreover, that she’s very good at: she is the estate manager for her easy-going older brother, currently overseas with the Army.
The job involves everything from worrying about chickens to supervising servants and tenants, discussing winter sowing with the bailiff, doing the estate’s accounts, with occasional excursions to gather blackberries. Her life is, admittedly, somewhat lonely and dull despite the ongoing attentions of the worthy Edward Yardley and the romantic Oswald Denny. The neighborhood apparently has no girls of her age, leaving her with only two people to talk to freely: the older Lady Denny, mother of children not that much younger than Venetia; and her younger brother, Aubrey, who walks with a limp, and is more interested in books than in people.
Until a Byronic hero, or, if you prefer, a Beast, stalks into her life.
[Complete with roses and sexual aggression]