A DEBUTANTE'S GUIDE TO REBELLION - Kathleen Kimmel
A Birch Hall Novella
Lady Mildred Weller, who prefers to be called Eddie, isn't the perfect debutante by society's standards. Even her own mother sees her as ugly and clumsy. She cannot dance and seems unsociable. Her mother and father returned from India two years ago after having left their ten-year-old daughter with an aunt while they were gone. Now Eddie's mother insists her only chance for success is to capture Lord Averdale in marriage, a man much older than Eddie's own nineteen years. She doesn't care because it means escape from her domineering mother and her indifferent father.
Ezekiel Blackwood is the nephew and heir of the childless Lord Averdale. This doesn't affect ‘Z' as his cousin Sophie calls him. He is quiet, non-athletic, studious, and has a strong interest in botany. Most of his family and their acquaintances find him strange. He knows this, and knows it means he won't marry, and accepts this as his future. Yet, Sophie has pushed him to find a wife during the London season. He made a terrible gaffe with Lady Mildred, whom he has noticed before, and asks Sophie to go on a visit to apologize. He finds himself in the position of trying to help Eddie marry his uncle. He doesn't care because her friendship means more to him.
These two characters break the stereotypes of most romance stories, and might take the reader by surprise, but their story of misfits finding their own way (with a little help from Sophie and Eddie's brother John) is satisfying, and in a way, more realistic by today's standards than the usual means of finding love in this genre. Don't get me wrong, I love strong heroes and charming heroines, but this story looks at others who might populate this universe. And by story's end, the reader will discover Ezekiel and Eddie have these characteristics, too.