The Paradise Will
In February 1818 Alyssa Paradise receives a shock. As her uncle’s will is read out, she discovers that he left his Dorset estate to her and not – as expected – to her spendthrift cousin Piers Kilworth.
However, the will has one clause she is required to fulfil for the estate to pass fully into her hands – she has to dine with her uncle’s neighbour, Sir Giles Maxton, once every week for six months! For Giles, the right of access to a water supply is at stake. Enraged, they form an instant dislike towards each other.
Alyssa travels to Dorset with her fiancé, Charles, and her ward, Letty. Charles is incensed and wants her to sell the property. Once there, Alyssa is relieved when he leaves. Giles is cynical about the clause, but Caroline Nash, certain in her expectation to become Lady Maxton, is beyond herself with anger. When she meets Alyssa, she immediately regards her as a threat. Piers, meanwhile, follows Alyssa to Dorset and begins to stir up trouble, intent on getting his hands on the estate one way or another. But he has not counted on the considerable charms of Letty, who sets herself the task of bringing him onto the rightful path. Despite their early misgivings, Alyssa and Giles begin to enjoy each other’s company. But with her betrothal to Charles, and his unspoken understanding with Caroline, can there be a future for them?
The Paradise Will is a historical novel in the vein of the great Georgette Heyer. The plot is intriguing and the action unrelenting. I did not want to put this book down at all, regardless of the early hour. A highly entertaining read!