There are only a few Barbara Metzger's remaining on my "to read" list but this one is about the funniest so far. I loved it; the author carried the humor throughout the story, one madcap event after another.
Sydney Lattimore is a managing female; she has plotted and planned how to get the three of them (Sydney, her sister Winnie, and the "General," a war veteran) to London for a Season. Sydney is convinced that she can show off her beautiful sister and find her a wealthy husband, who will take care of the three of them. Syd has enough money to land the three in London, but not enough to keep them there.
The next time we see Syd, she has arrived at a London loanshark's office, hoping for a loan. Viscount Mainwaring is shocked by her outrageous plots and plans. He decides to give her the 1000 pounds she needs; Syd insists it is a loan. The viscount doesn't expect to see the little lady again. Hah. Before long, the viscount knows Sydney needs a keeper.
Metzger has outdone herself in describing Pekingese dogs as 'little rodents in fur coats.' I fell out of my chair laughing; I wasn't expecting such a wild description of such a sweet, tame breed of dog. There are chuckles on virtually every page; enjoy.
London seemed the place to fulfill Winifred's romantic dreams..and Sydney's mercenary ones.
Being one half-pay pension away from poverty, it was clear to the Misses Sydney and Winifred Lattimore that one of them must find a wealthy husband. Since no man with all his wits would want such a managing female as Sydney, Winnie's beauty and grace would more likely win her a nabob.
Of course, Sydney's great plan required money, so a visit to the seedy establishment of a moneylender was a necessary evil. Why had no one warned her that moneylenders could be such handsome devils.
Lord Mainwaring was in no hurry to correct the exasperating minx's misconception. She had pluck, for certain, and unforgettable coppery curls--but a nose for trouble that would make mice feet of her Season. And so, though he was too smart to be caught in the parson's mousetrap himself, Mainwaring decided he must keep Sydney out of mischief, no matter what it took...