The Unwilling Heiress
  • Published:
    Nov-1986 (Hardcover)
  • Formats:
    Print / eBook
  • Main Genre:
    Traditional Regency
  • Time Period:
    19th Century Regency (1811-1820)
  • Setting:
  • Purchase:
Lucy Trahern, sometime governess to the three Bostram children, has suddenly lost her position. As the story opens, she is wandering London without baggage or money in the rain, looking for a night's shelter. Beyond hope, she finds two old ladies who offer her protection, a job, and a mystery that is about to set her life on its ear.

When Lord Hersington, Earl of Kentsy learns that his widowed and foolish cousin has unjustly dismissed the governess of her three young children (and hears from the children that this Miss Lucy Trahern is a paragon of the first water) he feels bound to find the young woman and set things right.

Lucy, meanwhile, has found odd but highly satisfactory refuge after wandering London's streets, penniless, in a down-pour. Knocking on the door of the gatehouse outside a large estate, she encounters two unlikely rescuers; the elderly sisters, Almeria and Natalie; one sweet but scatty in extreme, the other all bluster covering common sense and a kind heart. The two are dressed in expensive, but very ill-kept clothes. They have no servants, but countless cats; and their house suffers woefully from lack of care.

They take Lucy in, and in turns she takes over the duties of housekeeper, cook, and general manager, but refuses any pay. The sisters, full of gratitude, insist she call them “aunt” and extract a promise from her; she will accept a gift from them as long as it is not money or material object.

The gift turns out to be an unquestioned introduction to the ton, as their relation -- for the eccentric sisters are a good deal more than they seem. Lucy is reluctant to carry on the charade, however. She feels herself an imposter, and her discomfort becomes pain when Hersington finds her and courts her, concealing his identity as her former charges' “Uncle Jasper.” They are happy in one another's company; they share the same kind of sense of humor; but Lucy will not look so high in spite of his obvious affection.

Hero: Tom Crowley
Heroine: Lucy Trahern
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    • First Edition
    • Nov-1986
    • Walker & Company
    • Hardcover
    • ISBN: 0802709133
    • ISBN13: 9780802709134
    • Deborah L. Fruchey
    • eBook
    • Aug-2010
    • Createspace
    • eBook (Kindle)
    • Mar-2013
    • eBook
    • ISBN: 0557643783
    • ISBN13: 9780557643783

View the Complete Deborah Fruchey Book List