When a family tragedy leaves sisters Jemma and Anne Adair in the hands of their seemingly cold and unfeeling English grandfather who uproots the young ladies from their home in America to London. Their grandfather is quick with his wishes to see both ladies married and he has even picked out the prospective groom for Jemma. Jemma, however, is no simpering female and has decided to foil her grandfather's plans with her willful resistance and her clear mistrust of the male population after the betrayal from the man she loved.
Philip De Vere, Lord Harthorne is struggling to survive the financial difficulty left by his father. His mounting debts have made it almost impossible to care for his family and something must be done before his poor mother expires from the horror of the possibility of being destitute. Philip always thought he would marry for love, but the lover of poetry finds his dreams dashed when he realizes the only way out of the situation is to find a woman with a large dowry to marry.
In typical Jemma fashion, a bet becomes the beginning of a fascinating chase when Jemma and Philip meet. Philip has never seen a lady like Jemma. A hoyden of the first order, Jemma lets no man close and Philip is no exception, until she agrees to help him with lessons in becoming a rake if he assist her in foiling the plans Jemma's grandfather has for her with the repugnant man he has given leave to court her. The more time they spend in each other's company, the more it is clear to many surrounding the pair that Jemma and Philip are perfect for one another. Unfortunately, neither sees anything but the task at hand and even though Philip finds Jemma to be captivating and is drawn to her, he has nothing to offer her and Jemma still struggles with her mistrust of men.
Making both Philip and Jemma see what is right before them is a task worth reading in MY ENCHANTING HOYDEN by JULIE JOHNSTONE. This wonderful story by Julie Johnstone, one of my very favorite authors, has a menagerie of fabulous characters who add to the alluring tale of two people who resist the inevitable. Jemma has good reason to be wary of men, but meeting Philip makes her think twice about her perceptions. Even with the despair of Philip's financial problems he finds out that sacrificing love for family comfort may not be all that it's cracked up to be. If you are looking for a story with hope and depth of feeling, Julie Johnstone's ENCHANTING HOYDEN is for you, as are all the stories that Miss Johnston writes.