Lady Victoria, 19-year-old daughter of the impoverished Earl of Courtney, was a dumpy 15 when betrothed (more or less) to handsome Richard, Marquis of Landsdon. So now, hoping to squirm out of an unpleasant marriage (not knowing that Victoria has blossomed), Richard--on advice from chum Henry Smythe--sets his sights on Victoria's brand new step-sister: Charlotte Tarlock, daughter of the Earl's new bride, wealthy Emma. And the two betrotheds will thus be meeting in and around the Tarlock home . . . but Victoria, by half-chance and half-whim, has assumed the role of actress ""Anna Semple."" Richard, then, not recognizing his quasi-fiancÃ‰e, is fascinated by the quips and chats of this supposed woman-of-the-world; Victoria/Anna, meanwhile, falls for Richard; he, however, dutifully proposes to Charlotte; Charlotte has a tendre for Henry (who loves her but thinks she prefers Richard); Charlotte's mum most decidedly prefers Richard, because of his title. Yet, despite all the mixups, there'll be a flurry of happy endings--after gruff Lady Targell's all-toff charity-production of The Rivals (featuring Anna S., of course), Henry's acquisition of a title . . . and a jolly gallop to Gretna Green for ""the largest elopement in English history."" Far-fetched, even by Regency standards--but adequately dressy, thoroughly good-natured, and easy-gaited throughout.