Minerva marks the delightful debut of the Six Sisters series, a family saga in six volumes that recounts the romantic adventures of the six marriageable daughters of a country vicar, the Reverend Charles Armitage, in Regency England. The eldest, Minerva, is enchantingly beautiful-but a prude. She lives in the country looking after her siblings while her mother reclines on a chaise longue happily inventing new maladies. Her father, a vicar of decidedly secular inclinations, indulges a hearty passion for hunting instead of worrying about the girls' dowries. But when he wants to send his boys to Eton, the money must be found-and how better than by marrying Minerva off to a man of fortune? Dispatched to town, Minerva experiences her first season under the wing of an elderly relative. But age, it seems, is no guarantee of respectability, and Lady Godolphin's plan for a good time scandalizes her young charge. Minerva's moralizing ways make her the subject of a shocking wager among the rakes and dandies of Regency London. Meanwhile, the handsome Lord Sylvester Comfrey is observing her progress in the marriage market. For such a virtuous girl, Minerva unaccountably finds herself in some extremely compromising situations with this gentleman who, alas, professes not to be the marrying kind.
by M.C. Beaton
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