Sheer perfection. Just a straight character-driven love story - no villains, murders to solve, lost heirs or heiresses to find or discover, no evil plots to foil, no useless brothers to support - exactly what I want in a romance!
The entire story takes place over 2 weeks at a house party at the wealthy Redmonds' country house in Pennyroyal Green. Both the hero and heroine want to be engaged at the end of the 2 weeks, basically for financial gain, but not to each other, because she is broke and he is not very wealthy apart from his family, but wants to finance a long scientific voyage to South America, so he needs money. The story of how they come together, fall in love and decide no one else will do for them is so beautifully written, so well characterized, so funny (be prepared to laugh out loud a lot if you read this book)), so poignant, and so sexy that it goes right into the top level of my keeper list.
(Just one tiny anachronism - the guests at an upper-class house party in the 19th century would NEVER have eaten their breakfasts sitting around the kitchen table! pg. 39)