After a visit to an old friend, the Dowager Marchioness of Granville made an offer to sponsor one of their daughters, granting the opportunity to visit London and be presented to the ton in the hope of contracting a marriage that would be beneficial to her family. Miss Fleur Toogood, second eldest daughter, was considered the best looking of the five sisters to make a good match. The only problem with Fleur was that she was opinionated and spoke her mind, oftentimes with disastrous results. Fleur also was adamant in her belief to marry for love, or not at all.
Lord Dominic the dowager's youngest son was appointed by her to be Fleur's chaperone and champion. Dominic, who was busy secretly trying to ferret out a villain who was kidnapping for ransom some of the ton's recent debutantes, reluctantly accepted his mothers appeal and took his chaperoning duties seriously though with little grace. His arrogance raised Fleur's hackles but she did manage to charm him even as she inadvertently eavesdropped and discovered his `other business' of trying to save the ton's virginal daughters from the clutches of `The Cat'.
As Fluer was introduced to and declared an `original' with the ton, Dominic did his best to find her a worthy husband. Fortunately, along the way and somewhere deep in his heart, he knew the only one that could meet her high standards or embrace them, and not stifle her natural exuberance was Dominic himself.
Finally, Dominic was only an okay hero and his desire to remain unwed when he felt such an intense attraction towards Fleur was a bit flimsy. The writing was, of course, well done with wonderful dialogs and a substantial amount of secondary characters to make this an interesting read. The suspense of the identity of `The Cat' was kept right up to the very end, although I had guessed half way thru the identity of his accomplice. What garnered this a low rating was the rather one-sided romance between Fleur and Dominic. If one didn't know that the hero was to be Dominic, I would have thought Franklin the best choice after the delightful lunch they had together when he made her laugh with his funny faces. However, Fleur was a gal after my own heart and I loved her honesty and outspokenness as she let her feelings be known, but Dominic needed lessons in the romance department - not to say he didn't have his moments - they were just too few and far between. Bottom Line - This was an okay read, well-written, with enough intrigue to keep the reader interested, but sadly lacking in any heart stopping romance.