I've just finished wiping away the last of the very happy tears that have been shed culminating with the end of this book. A 5 ***** star read for one of the "Slightly" series.
Miss Frances Allard spent her Christmas leave from Miss Martin's School for Girls with her Great-Aunts, but was caught up on her return journey in very bad, and typically English, snowy weather.
A thoughtless driver passes the old family carriage she is driving in, and then causes it to crash. The driver, Lucius Marshall (Viscount Sinclair), then goes on to rescue her from the ditch and take her off to safety. Although safety is a relative term, as it is in fact to a lonely country inn. The innkeeper and his missus having departed for Christmas, leaving the place in the care of a lazy servant.
When the weather clears he takes Frances back to Bath, and proposes she come to London with her. She rightly refuses and Lucian goes on his way to fulfill his promise to his Grandfather to marry that year. They both presume that that will be the last of what was a very pleasant interlude.
Unfortunately, forgetting for both of them proves difficult, and Lucius travels back to Bath with his Grandfather so that he can sample the waters for his ill-health. Meanwhile, Francis is invited to sing at a soiree.
The pair meet again, and Lucius and his Grandfather are enthralled by her voice. This time Lucius ask her to marry him, but is refused, and they again go their separate ways. This time it is even more impossible to forget each other though.
Back in London Lucius plots with the Great-Aunts help to bring Frances to London. This is somewhere she left 3 years earlier and had sworn never to to back. Without her knowing, she is tricked into singing to a larger audience that she thought, and is offered the coveted help of Lord Heath to launch her singing career. This chance is turned down, and so is another offer from Lucius, as she still has some dark secrets, which she thinks would not make her an acceptable pride for such a family .... she would only have him if his family gave their blessing. So back off to Bath she goes.
At the end of the School year a concert is arranged, and the whole of Lucius's family turn out to watch it as a show of their acceptance in the match, and Lucius finally wins the day in a very public proposal.
So, it cannot be denied that fate played a massive part in this tale, for if they had not both travelled that road at the same time, then they would never have met and never have fallen in love.
Read it do, you won't be disappointed - it's a very happy tear jerker of a book.