Viscount Dewland has decided that his youngest son needs to start his family. He has an elder son but a riding accident has left him somewhat crippled so he can't be counted on to continue the line. Peter Dewland, the youngest son has no desire to marry, especially, a girl that his father has picked, that he has never seen and that has lived in India all her life. Those should be enough reasons not to marry. Except, that his father has already contacted the future bride's father and she is on her way by boat to London. Quill, the eldest son, has to meet her at the docks and he can't believe his eyes, she is beautiful. Gabrielle Jerningham, or Gabby for short is expecting her future bridegroom to meet her not the older brother. Gabby has arrived with some extra baggage, a young boy Kasi, who is to be hidden away from the East India Company and Miss Phoebe, who is to go live with her only living relative. Gabby is totally artless, she has no knowledge of London society.
Peter on the other hand is one of the leaders in London society. Gabby is confused about who she is to marry. Quill is attracted to her, he is the heir apparent. Peter, who she is engaged to, doesn't seem to be thrilled about the marriage and is also less than thrilled about her lack of social polish. Who she ends up marrying and why, who are Miss Phoebe's relatives, who is this Kasi and why did he travel with Gabby from India to London---these subplots keep this book moving from cover to cover.
I knew this book would be a joy if it was at all like Ms James other books and I wasn't disappointed. Many of the characters were introduced in her other books but this book stands alone fine without reading the others. Gabby is as delightfully innocent as she is stubborn. Ms. James keeps all the story lines going and interesting, her characters are interesting and there is never a dull moment. There are many twists and turns to a "Happy Ending" but getting there was one of the ENCHANTING PLEASURES.
Debbie Olson, November 2002
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