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Fiona Hill

The Country Gentleman

A delightfully different Regency romance from an author with “considerably more wit and pizazz than the legendary Georgette [Heyer] herself” (Kirkus Reviews).
At twenty-eight, Anne Guilfoyle is happily established as a spinster and a bluestocking, delighting her London friends with witticisms and intelligent observations on the political goings-on of the day. But when she is suddenly bereft of her fortune, she is forced to take up residence at Fevermere, the Cheshire farmhouse willed her by her great uncle.
Isolated from London society and surrounded by farmland, with only her friend Maria for companionship, Anne finds her intelligence put to the test. She rapidly overcomes the shock brought about by the move and sets herself the task of learning everything she can about farming. Evenings prove rather dull, however, and Anne is obliged to invite some of her neighbors to dine—the most notable guest being Mr. Henry Highet, who Anne quickly decides is a thick-witted country type, though admittedly rather handsome.
But Anne’s estimations of both country life and Henry Highet are about to undergo a dramatic change . . .
“[A] lively Regency romance . . . with wit and verve.” —Publishers Weekly
“Characterized by a light, yet sophisticated touch.” —Library Journal
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    But you have managed excellently.”

    Juliana asked, “Do you think so? I do so wish Ensley to be proud of me!” But as she said these last words she blushed and looked away from Anne. Confusedly she stammered, “That is, I wish— I mean, one likes to please one’s…Is your husband coming to London?” she finally brought out, blushing deeper than ever.

    Anne, watching this performance in growing distress, answered, “No, I fear not,” continuing softly, “But I am sure Ensley is proud of you, very proud indeed. I know he is.”

    Juliana, crimson to the roots of her hair, stared at her shoes. “Do you? Did he—has he told you so?”

    Anne made an impulsive decision. “My dear Lady George,” she said, speaking swiftly and praying Lord Bambrick would not return before this colloquy could be finished, “I wonder if I may be frank with you?” Overcoming a mild reluctance, she took the girl’s hand as she spoke on (Lady Ensley all the while scrutinizing her satin slippers), saying, “You know of course that your husband and I have been friends since—well, almost since before you were in the schoolroom. I hope—I do hope that you and I may be friends as well!”

    There was a silence. Then, “Oh, yes,” mumbled Juliana, her cheeks still ablaze. As she did not raise her eyes, Anne resumed, “I am sorry, but I cannot believe you mean that, since you will not even look at me. Pray be candid; I
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    d him for on-dits, and reviewed with him the state of his own career.

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