Apparently, this book was Ms. Quinn's debut novel. In the version I purchased (an August 2003 ship date), the author reveals the joy she experienced giving Emma Dunster and Alexander Ridley life. Incredibly, the reader shares this joy. The wonderful mood created throughout the book is the spontaneity of the story. The characters' impromptu reactions are both fun and refreshing. An amusing and interesting piece, no wonder the publishers reissued this paperback. I found myself chuckling over the silliest moment. This is lighthearted reading at its best.
Julia Quinn immerses the reader in the developing love story of a headstrong American heiress and a notorious English rake. Every secondary character in the book supports a master plan to bring these two charming people to the altar. These meddlesome players add to the richness of the novel's spirit.
Delightfully, Quinn displays an incredible female camaraderie between Emma and her lovely English cousin Arabella (Dancing at Midnight). Then the author enchants the reader with the delightful platonic friendship between these two ladies and Alex's dear friend Dunford (Minx). I realize these creative alliances set the stage for her sequel books. Still, Quinn successfully attracts the interest.
If this book has a weakness, I suspect it can be found in the contemporary feel in attitude and conversation. Overlook this flaw and enjoy an outstanding book for a weekend escape.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.