Harry, Marquess of Sidmouth, against the wishes of his family took a commission and fought in Wellington's Spanish campaign. As a young and impressionable man, he witnessed the terrible atrocities that followed the successful siege at Badajoz. What happened to him caused him to lose some of his faith in humanity and most certainly the the value of love and the sexual expression of love. He needs healing but is unaware of this.
His friend James, Lord Clitheroe, had always done what his somewhat stuffy and proud family demanded but, by the time we meet him, he is having doubts about the merit of letting others run his life.
Kate Richmond, always the sensible one in a family of eccentrics, and Lynette, beautiful but scholarly, meet these two men and despite a few false starts, each ends with the right man.
Farrell brings in a May Day celebration in Cornwall as a plot device to allow everyone to shed some of their inhibitions and pre-conceived notions. Although not an ideal device, it does get the point across and is the turning point for all concerned.
Farrell does not write amusing, frothy stories about mindless love. She makes you think and she lets her characters act out the story in a way that fits their timeframe. Cheers for this. In this story, one of our heroines experienced molestation as a child and the sexual implictions of this are part of the focus of the story. Although not my favourite of her novels, nonetheless, I recommend this to those of you who like a good story with excellent characters who grow and learn about themselves in a credible way.
Well written traditional Regency with anything but a traditional story line. Characters are ones you really care about.