"These Old Shades" by Georgette Heyer {Books}

I would say this is the most delightful book of all I have read by the same authoress. Oh, one thing baffles me is that earlier there used to be so much of age difference among the married couples even if they were love marriages. Almost all the regency novels I have read have their heroes in 30's and seldom are the heroines more than 26. Anyways, what does it matter!!! 

So, there is Duke of Avon who buys a boy who was being ill-treated by his brother and makes him his page. And, so the mystery begins. The page is very delicate and entirely unlike a boy of his age. So, it is understood that the boy is under-developed. But, later it is revealed that the page is actually a girl who was disguised as a boy because it was not possible for her brother to keep a young girl in his inn. This girl is a mystery because she is so unlike her class of people. And, the Duke takes her under his roof and makes her his ward. He goes to London and makes the girl, Leonie, stay with his sister for a short while and then, she is taken to Avon and placed under the chaperonage of the cousin of the Duke and is given instructions and education on all the important matters. The story begins in Paris. During her stay at Avon, she becomes very friendly with the brother of the duke and spends her time with him in the absence of the Duke. Now, enters the villain in the guise of a noble of France who has a long-standing enmity with the Duke and abducts Leonie and manages to enter France. The Duke's brother, Rupert, follows the abductor and manages to save Leonie and they go to an inn. After a short while, they are joined by the Duke himself. He declares that he shall introduce Leonie to the society of Paris. And, she being a beautiful girl, enchants everyone and becomes the talk of the town. In the meanwhile, Leonie comes to know that she is an illegitimate child of her abductor and she goes to the abductor to ask the question for a certainty. Feeling lowly and not wanting to bring any word on the Duke, she runs away and the Duke finally saves her and restores her to the society.
I may have told the story quiet in detail but I have skipped out on great many details which actually form the story. And, the story is very gripping right from the starting but the climax is astounding. A very well-written piece. No Jane Austen but nevertheless amazing!!!

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