Hester Godric manages the Regency household of her orphaned step-siblings--bookish Jamie, weepily beautiful Alice, gardener Geoffrey, cooking-minded Susan, sea-loving Robbie--with a light, loving rein. . . and funds from her maternal grandfather-shopkeeper. (Her late Papa gambled away the family's all.) Then, into their midst, comes the unconscious, incognito David, Lord Acton: victim of a coaching accident, he recuperates at the Godrics for three months of happy chaos and crises, concealing his blue-blood identity. The household rescues a dying, ""ruined"" woman and her illegitimate babe; Alice is courted by a dandy cleric, but is sent to London for the season; the family tags along; Acton is forced to reveal his true name, while misunderstandings impede his tendre for Hester. And, after misadventures galore (a Thames sailing for Robbie, the redemption of a chimney-sweep, accidental involvement with a courtesan, an evil abduction), Hester is triumphantly introduced to society and True Love. . . despite her shopkeeper-ancestry ""taint."" Happy, light, minted with cosy sentiment: one of the better recent Regency romances--ambling through the ton with slow, sweet charm and a keen sense of social taboos.