This can't be Georgette Heyer's last novel!
I've been rooting throughout the book that the secondary couple (Lucilla and Ninian, who, without them, the two protagonists wouldn't have met) to end up with each other! Though, of course, the main romance was enjoyable, too. I need my closure, you know, and I need to read that book about Lucilla Carleton and Ninian Elmore. So you see, there has to be a next novel. Heyer wasn't exactly averse to sequels, after all.
But, alas, I do understand the futility of demanding something from a dead woman. I might as well content myself with my head-canon*.Even though I was grossly left hanging in this novel, I'm aware that Heyer handled it very well.
Lucy and Ninian, are, after all, practically children, and still in that bickering stage. They grew up together, and people around them expect them to marry each other in the end. Which just sets their nettles quite high, they'll tell you! They bicker constantly (which reminded me of Ron and Hermione, honestly, and you know how that ended up). But they really do get along. They are made for each other, though they don't realize that yet. They have a lot of growing up to do, but I do believe, as Annis's sister-in-law believes, "The end of it will be, of course, that they will marry one another!"
Lucy and Ninian are one of my favorite couples that Heyer created, and they aren't even the main characters! There's just something in the way they're written, that you can feel the chemistry oozing from the pages, which just makes me like them and root for them. Their chemistry was just as palpable as the chemistry between Annis Wychwood and Oliver Carleton, who are what we're reading the book for, anyway.3.5 stars
To be sure, Annis and Oliver's verbal matches and romance were lovely to read, but I cared more about the secondary characters. Annis and Oliver, btw, find their match in each other, and live happily ever after, of course.
*I am happy to have seen Ninian maturing by the end of the novel, and he was handling his family's estate. Lucilla, also, was polishing her manners and becoming a lady indeed. Although in the book, Ninian was said to be taken in by Lucy's friend, Corisande, it was also said that it was just a passing fancy. Now, since Lucy will stay with Corisande's mother before she s launched into society, there will be a sort of love triangle. But in the end, things will work its way out and Ninian and Lucy will eventually realize that they were made for each other. How ironic, because they running away from it in the first place! Oh, how lovely. :3