It's Christmas 1877 and Anne Follyot— of little beauty and no fortune, but sturdy spirit and an excess of imagination— is invited to stay with her favorite aunt in Cornwall. She's all anticipation, waiting for the man chosen to escort her on this journey. According to her aunt, she met him before, many years ago, but Anne cannot remember him and she's positive that he must long-since have forgotten her. She's never been memorable.
But J.P. Deverell, Esq. is now a grown man with a dangerous reputation, of which her aunt cannot possibly be aware. And Anne means to make the most of her aunt's mistake and this adventure. She considers herself a modern, independent woman, for whom a little scandal is well overdue. If she doesn't seize this chance now, she might never have another.
As Charles Dickens wrote, "No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused."
* * * *
He's in no temper for eggnog and mistletoe; no mood to tolerate the painfully polite company of some plain spinster, in a carriage, for three days. It's probably a contrivance to get him home for Christmas.
Remember Anne Follyot? He doesn't care to remember himself sixteen years ago, let alone recall the dull vicar's five year-old niece.
He'd planned to spend his Yuletide working, alone and in peace. But a letter from his mother has guilted him into this act of begrudging chivalry, aided by the whispers of his best friend's mischievous ghost.
"Bah, Humbug!" As Charles Dickens also wrote.
* * * *
But this journey will not turn out quite the way either traveler expects, for when these two opposites collide, so do ghosts of the past, the present and the future.
It will be a holiday season with all the usual fare—peril, pandemonium, family quarrels, mulled wine and bodily injury. Certainly a Christmas adventure never to be forgotten this time.
At least, by one of them.