Mira, Jan 2005, 7.50, 416 pp.
In 1804, Miles Whiting molests his stepdaughter, seventeen years old angelic Claire, until her older sister Victoria bashes his head knocking the lecher out. The girlies steal a necklace and flee Harwood for London. Not long afterward, the sisters remain in trouble until Lord Cordell Devlin, in need of a housekeeper, hires Victoria to fill the position and provides a maid's job to the sister because he wants Claire in his bed soon.
Miles changes his mind over which sister he wants in his bed. He finds Claire almost child-like and instead of desire he finds a need to protect her. He appreciates Victoria's intelligence, competitive nature especially in chess, and her protectiveness of her sister; he also realizes he wants her. However, her stepfather seeks his two “wards” having accused them of theft and injuring him. With the law on his side, only Cord stands in his way, but though Victoria loves him, she cannot expect him to keep safe two thieving servants even if he reciprocates her affection.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner