I love Barbara Metzger's work and this book is one of her best. I picked it up at around 8 P.M and had to stay up until I finished. The book has humor as well as some drama. The story never seems to lose momentum. I always know I love a book when I hate to leave the characters.
Cristabel is teaching at an all-girls school when her uncle dies. Only after she crosses her dragon headmistress to find out what she has inherited, does Cristabel find that her uncle lost all of his possessions just before his death. In a real pickle, Cristabel approaches the winner of her uncle's goods, one Captain Chase.
Captain Chase is recovering from war wounds and has had surgery. He is blindfolded during their exchange. Chase decides to give Cristabel a boarding house so that she can earn a living. Neither Chase nor Cristabel understands that the boarding house is a brothel.
When Chase meets Cristabel later, he is now called Viscount Winstroke. He thinks that Cristabel is a prostitute because of the company she keeps (with the ladies of the brothel). He wants her for his mistress.
Cristabel seemed a bit too naive for much too long to have carried the story as long as it lasted.