Can even a rapscallion's heart withstand the sting of Cupid's arrow?
Young Ludwig Osgood-Simple is nothing if not a scoundrel of the highest order. His mother, the Baroness Osgood-Simple, is at wit’s end regarding his roguish antics. In order to stamp out his uncouth behavior she decides to send him off to join his older brother Nathaniel in the army, but Ludwig promptly takes flight—to seek his own destiny. Arriving in the capital city of Farthing, he is set upon by a band of robbers. Left beaten and naked in the cobblestone street, his woeful state is discovered by the courtesan Penny Brytches, who nurses him back to health. But Ludwig has a debt to pay and is forced into the profession of a gigolo, to escort and entertain ladies of the loftiest blue blood. A chance encounter with the beautiful Lady Faith Nevermore forever changes his ways—for the arrow of true love has struck his impish heart. But Baroness Nevermore holds a terrible grudge against Ludwig’s family and puts herself in the path of this budding romance. Can Ludwig circumvent the older woman’s mechanizations and schemes and win the love of his heart’s desire? Or will there be no redemption for this scoundrel?
“Matthew is eighty-four years old and nearly senile! Are you going to blame that poor old man, who works in our stables, for this latest scheme of yours?”
Shrugging his shoulders, he plucked a grape from a nearby bowl and popped it into his mouth. His mother fumed while he chewed and swallowed.
“As I was saying,” he smiled, “he said she was much too virtuous for any man to sway by words alone into any act she deemed immoral. Personally I thought it to be a challenge.”
“You are going to be the death of me! I never should’ve named you after the former master of these estates,” she growled. “I don’t know if I should thrash you or just exile you to a foreign enemy to plague with your ill humor. It is my belief you could do more damage to Effingham’s foes than your brother could with his entire regiment!”
“You would never send me away, for I am too dear to you, Mother.” He grinned impishly.