Mildred (whose nickname is Eddie) Weller is not smart,
beautiful, graceful, or intelligent. She's sure of this
because her harridan of a mother is constantly telling
her so. Eddie's debut has not been successful, and her
mother has determined that she will marry the Earl of
Averdale, the only man who has paid any attention to
Eddie, no matter that he is almost three times her age.
The earl has a nephew, Ezekiel Blackwood, who is as
socially awkward as Eddie. He is a scholarly individual,
who is bullied by his stepfather, who is not being
intentionally cruel, but thinks he knows what's best for
Ezekiel. One of those things turned out to be boxing
lessons, where poor Ezekiel had to take a pummeling or
face his stepfather's censure.
Eddie and Ezekiel tend to gravitate toward each other at
balls. She is not turned off by his rattling on about
flora and fauna, and he finds her quite beautiful when
she smiles, which she does quite frequently when she's
with him. Soon, Eddie finds herself confessing that her
mother is determined that she will marry Ezekiel's uncle.
Ezekiel, ever honest, confronts his uncle, asking his
intentions. When his uncle states that he was only being
kind because Eddie seemed lonely, and has no intention of
marrying, Ezekiel is quick to let Eddie know. This sets
off a chain of events that has Eddie's awful mother
concocting a scheme to trap the earl into compromising
Eddie so he'll have no choice but to marry her. In an
attempt to be a hero, Ezekiel asks Eddie to marry him.
She accepts, but her parents won't hear of it.
A DEBUTANTE'S GUIDE TO REBELLION turns into a madcap
adventure at this point. Anything that can go wrong,
does. Every plan that Eddie and Ezekiel make seems to
fail. While all this is happening, the awkward, nerdish
couple finds out that they have a genuine affection for
each other. I admit that I found their honesty and their
new found courage endearing. I was very happy to see
them finally get some help and to have someone on their
side. I'm sorry to say we don't get to see them explore
passion fully - it would have been a hoot to see. The
humor and mishaps only make their hard won happy ever
after all the sweeter. By the end of this short story,
my head was whirling, but I have to say that it was a
very enjoyable ride.
A bashful botanist and a reluctant debutante are about to
discover that there may be a science to seduction after all...
London, 1815: Lady Mildred Weller (Eddie to her friends) has
few prospects for marriage. If she can’t attract the
available—though considerably older—Lord Averdale, she may
be doomed to spinsterhood. She’s even willing to enter into
that loveless union, if only to escape her mother’s stifling
and increasingly desperate dominance. And she may have found
the perfect person to help her achieve that goal.
Ezekiel Blackwood is a botanist as well as Lord Averdale’s
nephew and heir. He is also a social disaster.
Cross-pollination he understands; the fairer sex not at all.
But in Lady Eddie, he discovers a kindred spirit. When she
asks for his assistance in assessing Lord Averdale’s
interest in her, Ezekiel is crushed. But naturally, he
thinks, she could never fall in love with someone like him.
Ezekiel’s matchmaking cousin is only too happy to arrange a
discreet rendezvous for their conspiracy—a greenhouse. Of
course in such a setting, it’s only natural that feelings
might begin to bloom...