I found myself skimming through this book rather than really reading it. I don't seem to be a huge fan of this author's writing style. She's got some really good dialogue mixed in with a sort of rushed-feeling narrative that makes the story feel uneven. Also, the characters seem inordinately fond of speaking in italics.
Phoebe and Will are two fairly likeable characters dealing with unexpected life circumstances. She is gently-bred and suddenly finds herself inhabiting the role of an upper level servant. He's had an acute case of wanderlust, and suddenly finds himself back home in the country, dealing with some extremely recalcitrant siblings and a heartbreakingly disabled father. Will wants Phoebe as his mistress while he courts a local heiress. Phoebe suddenly finds herself wanting to marry, but she's hemmed herself into a corner with her charade as a 'modiste' (*not* a seamstress!). They spar with each other, fall in love, deal with messy situations and a herd of feral horses, break each other's hearts, and of course, make up in the end. I did rather like the secondary storyline concerned with Will's younger sister, Alice - I thought it felt fairly realistic, compared to similar storylines I've seen in other romance novels.
I picked this book up before realizing that it's the last in a trilogy - still trying to decide if I want to bother with the first two "Desperate Debutantes."
Third in the series--I have enjoyed all three. Each stands alone but with returning characters so I don't think you have to read in order.
This is Phoebe's story and it is a good one. It's my favorite of the series - I found it impossible to put down (read it in one REALLY late night.)
Phoebe's dress making masquerade is under fire - her cover is blown by her employer, who promptly blackmails Phoebe to travel to the country estate of the newly returned Lord, to prepare whole wardrobes for his younger sisters debuts. Of course, she and this Lord hit it off, but will it all work out in the end (well - it's a romance, so you know it will .. but the journey on how they got there was great.)
Very good book. Read in one day. Has every thing from laughter to tears. Highly recommend.