Avon, May 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1802 when her boss Edwinna goes on her honeymoon, Prudence Armitage temporarily takes over running The Ladies' Fashionable Cabinet magazine. Prudence is very diligent putting in long hours on the magazine which is headquartered in the home of Nicholas Parrish, brother to the editor. When Prudence falls asleep at her desk and spends the night un-chaperoned at Nicholas' house, her father and four Viking-like brothers arrive demanding marriage or satisfaction. Nicholas agrees when he learns that Prudence is the granddaughter of a duke.
Prudence has loved Nicholas since she first met him several years ago, but he does not see her as a woman. Instead he sees her as a friend and fellow republican. Neither wants this marriage, but soon love on his part enters the equation. However, instead of showing how much she means to him, Nicholas allows pride in his social reform beliefs to cause a schism between them.
Though the actions of her father and brothers seem at odds with how they ignore the extended family mistreatment of Prudence, fans will enjoy this compromise based marriage. The lead couple is a unique pairing as they are republicans though Nicholas' arrogance and his “reactions” to having to marry because of her rank seem so much like the aristocracy. Still he and Prudence are a delightful pairing and her extended kin add depth to a fine tale of love.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner