Miss Billings Treads the Boards (Paperback)
Camel Press, 9781603819152, 266pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Cynical, lazy Lord Grayson is coerced into delivering a message to lovely Katherine Billings, whose late father frittered away a fortune on artwork. All his purchases were forgeries, save one, which-if sold-would offer Kate a modest living. Meanwhile, Kate has bowed to necessity and set off for Wakefield to become a governess. Gently reared, she has no plans to become a scandalous actress, but Things Happen. Injured by a highwayman hired by his greedy nephew, Lord Grayson staggers to a barn where a play is in progress. There he sees Kate, playing a small role. Through a mishap, she has ended up in Wickfield, not Wakefield, and is performing with the Bladesworth Traveling Company, an acting troupe. What's a lazy and cynical marquis to do? Lord Grayson-using his everyday name of Hal Hampton-joins the troupe, partly to protect himself from his nephew, but mostly to get to know Kate better. They both fall under the spell of the impecunious but talented Bladesworths. A charming French emigre, a single-minded Bow Street Runner, and love round out a summer where the repertory includes deception, faux marriage, the law, and enough unsavory characters to suit any would-be Shakespeare. After all, the play's the thing.