This absolutely delightful historical romance is set in 1821. Viscount Rathbourne and Bathsheba Wingate meet in the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly when her 12-year-old daughter, Olivia, who wants to be a knight, and his 13-year-old nephew, Peregrine, who would like to be an archaeological explorer, get into a fight. Bathsheba belongs to the disreputable branch of the DeLucey family, and is notorious not only for her background, but for her scandalous marriage some years ago. The son was cut off, and now that Bathsheba is a widow, she is trying to earn a living by teaching drawing lessons. Rathbourne’s nephew is in dire need of such lessons, if he would like to be able to draw his finds. This, of course, throws the two adults together.
Both Bathsheba and Rathbourne have delicious attitudes towards the children: they see them for what they are and can hardly be called sentimental. Much of the action in the book involves the hunt for Olivia and Peregrine, when she sets off to find buried treasure and he follows to protect her. Bathsheba and Rathbourne get into a number of adventures of their own, some of which involve acknowledging their mutual attraction. A rather surprising ending caps this charming novel. I wonder which of Rathbourne’s relatives will star in Chase’s next novel?