A SPIRITED AFFAIR by Lynn Kerstan is truly an entertaining story. This book was originally released by in 1993 when this reader was not reading romance, so I am very happy it's been re-released as I would have missed this gem.
Since her father's death and the demise of her father's friend and guardian, Jillian Lamb has been doing the best she can for her people, but her best is not enough when her allowance stops and she's being stretched thin. Jillian takes a mail coach to London to confront her careless guardian, The Earl of Coltrane.
When Mark Delacourt, the Earl of Coltrane returns from a rainy but diverting evening on the town, he discovers an odd package on his doorstep. When the package turns out to be a tiny, foul mouthed female who fights her way in the front door, the earl has no idea what he is in for. First, he finds the female is actually a lady, not a child he thought at first. Secondly, he had no idea he had a ward, let alone that he inherited her from his father. Now Mark must make sure that little Miss Lamb is actually who she says she is, and when that comes to fruition, he's at a loss with what to do with her. She isn't particularly pretty, she has a foul mouth and is basically a minx. Oh this is going to be a problem.
Enter the earl's amazing Aunt Margaret, who after meeting Jillian, decides to take her on by making her into a presentable Miss who can hold her own in front of the ton and hopefully find a husband who will take her off of Mark's hands. But Margaret soon finds that Jillian is not the hopeless case her nephew thinks, for Jillian is certainly hiding quite a bit about her true self. So while the Earl is away, little Miss Lamb gets to play, and when Mark returns to town, he is stunned to find his unruly ward actually holding court and being pursued by more than one gentleman. He thought this is what he wanted, but the little minx grew on him and now he is rather jealous of the attention she is receiving. Oh the fickle man... and so the fun begins.
A SPIRITED AFFAIR by Lynn Kerstan had me intrigued from the first. The story itself is a joy to read, but the rapport between Mark and Jillian is truly a delight. Their dialogue is quick-witted and engaging, I couldn't wait for what would happen next. Finding out that this book was Lynn Kerstan's first had me in awe. This book is very well written and absorbing. Now all I need is to read more from this author!