Lady Sparrow - Signet Regency Romance Author:Barbara Metzger Twenty-three-year-old heiress Minerva Caldwell has just buried her elderly husband--and she couldn't be happier. But when she starts rummaging through the old reprobate's account books, she discovers that the man she despised had plenty to hide. Starting with a slew of affairs--and twelve illegitimate children....Mina vows to track down ... more »the orphans, and give them a home. Then she discovers that her own son--whom she thought dead at birth--may still be alive. With the help of handsome Lord Lowell, she embarks on a search that will risk her life--and her heart.« less
Minerva, the widowed Lady Sparrowdale is the daughter of a cit and Lord Lowell, the endearing second son who doesn't have enough money to live up to the standards expected of him, gradually fall in love whilst looking for a seemingly unlimited number of by-blows from Minerva's late husband.
Although Metzger is a master of the beautifully written regency comedy, she does here hit on a number of serious points. Minerva's late husband pursued virgins in a quest for a "cure" for rampant VD (based on fact - this was a well known belief at the time); the by-blows grow up in poverty; Lord Lowell denies himself a family because of his straightened financial circumstances and Minerva shoulders responsibility for a financial empire. Some meaty issues here which provide a background note to the banter and comedy Metzger does so well.