A fiery social activist will do anything to advance the cause of women’s rights . . . but in 1909, she’ll have to do her stepfather’s bidding first.
Temperance O’Neil’s beloved mother has married Angus McCairn, a dour Scotsman, who points out that (1) he now controls all of the family money, and (2) he wants Temperance to behave like a dutiful daughter and stop financing crackpot schemes to teach the prostitutes on the streets of New York more ladylike but less lucrative job skills such as hat-making. Temperance reluctantly agrees, but she balks at Angus’s next request: that she pose as a housekeeper at his ancestral estate, in Edinburgh, in order to somehow force his bachelor nephew James into leaving the old place and marrying. Somebody. Anybody. Angus doesn’t care who it is, but he won’t give the furious Temperance a nickel more unless she complies. So off she goes, grumbling comically all the way to Scotland, and meets James, a gruff but good chip off the McCairn block. Predictable misunderstandings ensue—and Temperance likes housework not at all. But she does like the young and handsome James, who’s struggling to gain control of his own inheritance, starting with finding it. Many a McCairn before him has succumbed to the lure of the gaming tables, and who’s to say where the money is now? Not to mention all those confusing clauses in a tight-fisted relative’s last will and testament that . . . oh, never mind. It’ll all end in a mix-up, with the unmarried Temperance back in New York with a squalling infant McCairn in her arms—but no James.
Bestselling romancer Deveraux (High Tide, 1999, etc.) has a great sense of fun, although the plot of this sexy Highland fling goes everywhichway.