When a girl trudged through the rain at midnight to knock at the Devil’s door, the Devil should at least have the depravity—if not the decency—to answer.Minerva gathered the edges of her cloak with one hand, weathering another cold, stinging blast of wind. She stared in desperation at the closed door, then pounded it with the flat of her fist.
“Lord Payne,” she shouted, hoping her voice would carry through the thick oak planks. “Do come to the door! It’s Miss Highwood.” After a moment’s pause, she clarified, “Miss Minerva Highwood.”
Rather nonsensical, that she needed to state just which Miss Highwood she was. From Minerva’s view, it ought to be obvious. Her younger sister, Charlotte, was an exuberant yet tender fifteen years of age. And the eldest of the family, Diana, possessed not only angelic beauty, but the disposition to match. Neither of them were at all the sort to slip from bed at night, steal down the back stairs of the rooming house, and rendezvous with an infamous rake.
But Minerva was different. She’d always been different. Of the three Highwood sisters, she was the only dark-haired one, the only bespectacled one, the only one who preferred sturdy lace-up boots to silk slippers, and the only one who cared one whit about the difference between sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
The only one with no prospects, no reputation to protect.
Diana and Charlotte will do well for themselves, but Minerva? Plain, bookish, distracted, awkward with gentlemen. In a word, … Read More »