"No one is really happy without love"
Threatened with the choice of marriage to the odious Dan Thorpe or being whipped into submission by her new stepmother, Melissa is in despair.
Thankfully she takes the role of lady's maid to her friend Cheryl, who must pay a most reluctant visit to her guardian, Sergius, Duke of Aldwick, a hero of Waterloo.
The deception unmasked, Melissa is soon engaged in a succession of verbal duels with the cynical woman-hater - even after she saves his life!
Faced with fresh dangers and the threat of scandal, Melissa knows that Sergius matters more to her than anything else in the world...
Ah yes, nothing beats having a woman hating man as the hero especially when we get to read from the beginning with a smug satisfaction knowing that he is going to be whistling a different tune by the end of the book.
Melissa father has remarried and his wife – a right witch of a woman – is in a hurry to get rid of her stepdaughter so gets dead-beat dad to agree to have her wed the slime of all slimes – Dan Thorpe. Melissa is given the choice, marry or be thrown out of her home. Of course daddy dearest has nothing to say about this because his new wife is the one with all the money and he wants some pretty ponies to ride and needs to stay in her good graces.
“…as Melissa knew only too well, his promises were as weak as pie-crust.”
What I loved about Melissa is that she is not the kind of girl to just sit around and cry over her situation. She takes action and does what she can to get herself out of situations without looking to anyone else to give her permission or to come to her rescue.
Sergius – the hero – is a self-proclaimed woman hates after catching the woman he was going to marry with another man when he was younger. But it was nice to watch him NOT being a total prat to Melissa (who can guess why not ;)) and at times their interactions reminded me of moments between Jane and Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre.
There are several story lines all going on within this 171 page book. We have Melissa’s best friend Cheryl who is wanting to marry the man she loves but needs her Uncle Sergius’ permission first. There is Melissa and the Duke and their relationship and then winding through all of this there is someone out to kill the Duke.
So, this is quite a busy wee book.