A most shocking proposal. Miss Diana Forsythe was prepared for almost anything but this from Sir Sabin Mallory. Her heart had melted at her first meeting with this handsome lord newly arrived in London, and she was prepared to be his guide in the ways of the world and society. Now he asked her to be still more. He asked her to help him win the heart and hand of Lady Aurora Marchant, the most irresistible and haughty beauty in London. As a young lady of breeding, Diana could not bring herself to refuse Sir Sabin's heartfelt request. But as a young woman of feeling, she had to find a way to cure the lovesick lord of the folly of loving anyone but herself.
Another interesting and different traditional regency. This one is centered the heroine, Diana, the daughter of an actress who knows next to nothing of her father, is determined to be a proper young lady and work as a governess. She hides the fact that she is the daughter of an actress and probably illegitimate from her employers although she does love her mother and visits her at the theatre.
On one of those visits Diana meets Sir Sabin, a gentleman newly returned from America who has his heart and his head in the right place but lacks a certain town polish. Sir Sabin is a friend of Diana's employer and they eventually meet again and he tells her how in love he is by his friend’s older sister (and sister to Diana's charges) and asks for her help in teaching him to dress, dance and every other detail needed to impress in polite society. Diana find a young man to help him but agrees to go with him to some dances so he can practice, although this allows them to spend some time together and get to know each other better it's also a danger to Diana's reputation and they have to keep it a secret. But the lessons pay off and soon Sir Sabin manages to impress the young lady he is love with. Unfortunately she is not exactly a nice person and when she suspects that there's more to Diana's relationship to Sir Sabin than what is proper she is summarily dismissed.
The second half of the book is quite interesting and filled with new developments regarding Diana's life. However I felt the book lost a bit with the fact that this second half is mostly devoted to the heroine. Seeing that this is a romance one can expect more emphasis in one character than the other but especially in the first half. This way we lacked the development of their relationship.
Diana is at first miserable for having lost her job and because she has recognized her feelings for Sabin but she finally discovers who her father is and that in fact she is not illegitimate which naturally makes her happy. Unfortunately for her Sabin sees her with her father and believes him to be her lover and treats very badly. Nonetheless Diana is determined to enjoy her father's company and if needed be forget Sir Sabin so she agrees to go live with her father, an Earl, at his estate. It is obvious that Diana's parents still love each other and some sort of misunderstanding kept them apart all those years.
Not everything is perfect though and Diana starts being pressured by her father to marry the son of a cherished friend which Diana refuses to do. Part of the action is devoted to her trying to get away from said young man, who was not a nice person, and she ends up being rescued from that betrothal her father wants her to enter by her mother and her fellow actors who put up quite a performance. And Sir Sabin, who has in the mean time, realized his true feelings for Diana and the awful Aurora's true character finally arrives so that the misunderstanding can be solved.
Although the story seemed original I think it lacked more interaction between the main characters. More time devoted to the growth of their relationship. People interested in the theatre world might find this one interesting.