It was a bet on the books. And if it was successful then the winner would win £10 000.
This is the story of two sisters Sophia and Julia St. Claire. Sophia and Julia are close but one event drives them apart – Julia’s betrothal to Ludlowe, the man that Sophia has been in love with for five years. Benedict Revelstoke, Julia’s friend, tries to tell her about the bet but didn’t manage to get his message to her in time. He was only able to say avoid Ludlowe.
Julia does not want to be betrothed to Ludlowe so she goes to her friend Benedict to have him compromise her so that she doesn’t have to go through with the marriage. Julia’s mother and father insist that she marries Ludlowe who is soon to receive an earldom. What Julia and Sophie do not know is that Ludlowe has purchased their father’s debt and he has made the bet to get his money back. He doesn’t really want the ‘plain’ Julia but wants to be able to do his own thing and sleep with other women. He believes that Julia will not care. Sophia is heartbroken at her sister’s betrayal but not knowing the schemes behind the proposal.
Julia and Benedict elope to his estate and marry. But Benedict has to fight a duel for Julia with Ludlowe. Ludlowe’s real reason for marrying Julia comes out and Benedict is able to pay the debt so that they can live together.
Rufus tries to ease Sophia’s pain and tries to win her heart.
I did enjoy this debut but this is essentially a story with the two parts and I didn’t think there was sufficient depth of character for this reason as the two stories were of about equal length. There was enough character depth for me to know that I really didn’t like Julia and Sophia’s mother. She was always pushing for what she never had. While this is often in many historicals, the mother in this case went way over the line. Her husband could never come up to her standards and she felt that she had married below her and this certainly came through in the storyline. It is no wonder the girls pursued the course of action they did.