"Sometimes one is forced to take desperate measures. And it is of no use to tease oneself about propriety, because it seems to me that if you never do anything that is not quite proper and decorous you will have the wretchedest life, without any adventures, or romance, or anything!"So says 17-year-old Amanda, a young lady who's run away from home as part of her "campaign" to force her grandfather to give her permission to wed Captain Neil Kendal (who is completely unaware of what she's done).
Sir Gareth Ludlow is on his way to Brancaster to make an offer of marriage to Lady Hester Theale when he happens upon Amanda at a public inn. His conscience won't let him leave her there unprotected; so, against her wishes, he determines that the only thing he can do is to take her along to Brancaster where he knows she'll be safe.
"If Sir Gareth meant to arrive at Brancaster Park with this dazzling young beauty on his arm, he was unquestionably out of his senses. But it was not the business of his groom to point out to him the unwisdom of introducing his chance-met bit of muslin to Lady Hester."Lady Hester, unassuming and shy, does indeed reject Sir Gareth's proposal. (Despite his claim of affection and esteem for her, she wishes for love.) And that's when things really start to get interesting. Amanda runs off. More lies are told. And many other humorous complications ensue as Sir Gareth tries to wrangle the headstrong runaway and return her safely home. Even Lady Hester manages to have a small adventure. Sprig Muslin is a charming and delightful Regency romance with captivating characters and happy endings for all. I loved it. In fact, it's now my favorite Heyer novel. (With The Quiet Gentleman a close second.)