A Fool Again

A Fool Again - Eloisa James So... I guess this story takes place long before "Much Ado About You", because Lucius Felton plays a role in it -- as a suitor, no less! I might have to go back to re-read at least the 1st of the Essex sisters book to discover if Tobias and Genevieve are mentioned... I don't remember that they are.But this delightful story is about Genevieve, Toby (Tobias), and Lucius. In an impetuous moment, childhood friends Genevieve and Toby meet again at a country party and within 3 hours are on their way to Gretna Greene to get married. In the coach on the way, they manage to have relations twice! Except that before they can be married, Genevieve's father catches the coach and... all hell breaks loose. Genevieve doesn't see or hear from Toby the next day or the day after, despite her father assuring her that should Toby ask for her hand, he'd relent, seeing that Genevieve had been so obviously debauched. But Toby never does... and within weeks, Genevieve finds herself married to an old man - Erasmus Mulcaster. Erasmus seems to be the Ebeneezer Scrooge of his day, only thinking about how to squirrel away money in any way possible -- even with shady dealings. Despite a few attempts, Erasmus never could quite manage marital relations with Genevieve, so when she finds herself widowed after 6(?) years of marriage, she's still only been truly "touched" by Toby.Genevieve discovers, to her dismay, that her husband's will stipulates that unless she marries one of his business partners within the next 2 years, she basically inherits nothing. Her choices are another old man or Lucius Felton. Lucius is dark, foreboding, mysterious, and oh-so-proper. He never seems to show or feel any true passion, except perhaps for his horses. But given the choice, Genevieve would much rather have Lucius.Fast forward 1+ years later, with Genevieve in London just shedding her widow's black. She managed to convince her husband's 2 biz partners to allow her a generous allowance - enough to finally have pretty clothes and a townhouse in London. Lucius, in fact, seems particularly amused at Genevieve's impudence at accomplishing all of this by claiming Erasmus would have wished for nothing less generous.G (because I can't keep typing that name) and Lucius have been spotted all around London. He frequently escorts her, and she's determined to have him. It doesn't hurt that the other "suitor" for her hand has dropped from the race, due to infirmities of old age. And G's convinced herself that she wants such a proper gentleman after her experience with Toby. Except that, of course, Toby re-appears in London. He's managed to make himself a fortune in India, and Toby is back to claim G's hand - with a vengeance. In desperation in a theatre box with Lucius, G pleads with Lucius to kiss her in full view of the ton; she and Lucius both know this is tantamount to announcing their engagement. And G does it, because Toby is coming to their theatre box. Except that Lucius' kiss is oh-so-proper and timed exactly to when Toby enters the door. And then when G is so miserable, she begs to go home, Lucius sends her with Toby, of all people, who manages to lure G into an almost-indiscretion in his newly purchased home's garden!Does Lucius really want to marry G? Does he expect G to fall into Toby's arms and thus be rid of G? Lucius doesn't stand to gain monetarily by the matter, since Erasmus' fortune goes to the Church if G doesn't marry him. And is Toby sincere or just trying to spoil G yet again? Where was he all these years, and WHY didn't he ask for or demand her hand in marriage so many years ago? Why did he slink off to India?Quite a charming novelette, with plenty of charm, wit, and laughter... and yes, some steam, too. Well worth the $1.99 Kindle buy!