Nicola and the Viscount

Nicola and the Viscount

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by Meg Cabot
     
 

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Nicola always gets what she wants.

Nicola Sparks, sixteen and an orphan, is ready to dive headlong into her first glittering London society season. She's also ready to dive headlong into the arms of handsome and debonair Lord Sebastian Bartholomew. Nicola's dream is a proposal from the viscount—a dream she's about to realize at last! So naturally,

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Overview

Nicola always gets what she wants.

Nicola Sparks, sixteen and an orphan, is ready to dive headlong into her first glittering London society season. She's also ready to dive headlong into the arms of handsome and debonair Lord Sebastian Bartholomew. Nicola's dream is a proposal from the viscount—a dream she's about to realize at last! So naturally, Nathaniel Sheridan's insinuations about her fiancé's flawed character annoy her mightily.

But when Nicola's natural curiosity gets the best of her, she begins to piece together a few things for herself. To her great surprise, Nicola realizes she's had the wrong viscount all along . . . but is it too late to make things right?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061971846
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

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Chapter One

London, 1810

"Oh, Nicky." The Honorable Miss Eleanor Sheridan sighed. "I would give anything to be an orphan, like you. You are so lucky."

Miss Nicola Sparks, far from taking offense at her friend's remark, looked thoughtfully at her own reflection in the great gilt-framed mirror before them.

"Aren't I, though?" she agreed.

Eleanor's mother let out an indignant harrumph. "Well, I like that!" the Lady Sheridan said as she handed a pile of Eleanor's undergarments to the girl's French maid to pack. "I'm terribly sorry your father and I have been so unobliging, Eleanor, in not perishing in a more timely manner."

Eleanor, who stood behind Nicola at the dressing table, examining her chestnut brown curls in the mirror with the same critical eye Nicola was applying to her glossy black ones, rolled her eyes.

"Oh, don't be tiresome, Mama," Eleanor said. "You know I don't wish you and Papa dead. It's only that lucky Nicola gets to pick from a horde of invitations where she'll go now that school's finished, while I have no choice in the matter at all. I've got to spend the rest of my life -- until I'm married, in any case -- with you and Papa and wretched Nat and Phil."

"I can arrange for you to spend the rest of your life with your great-aunts in Surrey," Lady Sheridan pointed out dryly, "if our household is so offensive to you. I am sure they would love to have you."

Eleanor's hazel eyes widened, and she spun from the dressing table to face her mother. "Surrey!" she burst out. "What in heaven's name would I do in Surrey?"

"I'm sure I can't say." Lady Sheridan closed the first of herdaughter's many trunks, then moved to the second. "But I can promise you'll find out if you don't start showing a little more sense. Nicola, lucky to be an orphan, indeed!"

Nicola, roused by this remark from an examination of her new, upswept coiffure -- the first she'd ever been allowed by Martine, her own very strict French maid, who did not believe it was proper for girls younger than sixteen to wear their hair up -- turned around on the tasseled stool upon which she sat, and said to her friend's mother with some gravity, "But I am lucky, Lady Sheridan. I mean, it isn't as if I ever actually knew my parents, so you see, I cannot miss them. They died a few months after I was born. And though their deaths were tragic, at least they perished together. . . ."

"So romantic," Eleanor said with a sigh.

"I hope that when I die, it is like Nicky's parents did, drowning in the river Arno after a sudden storm."

"And though Father hadn't any money to speak of," Nicola went on calmly, as if Eleanor hadn't spoken, "he did leave me the abbey, which provides me with some income -- not much, of course, but enough for a maid and school and new lace for a bonnet now and then, anyway."

Nicola turned back toward her reflection, which, though by no means the prettiest one at Madame Vieuxvincent's Seminary for Young Ladies -- Eleanor surely had the distinction of being the most beautiful girl at school -- no one, with the exception perhaps of Nicola herself, would dispute was anything but pleasing. Nicola found the fact that her nose bore traces of a powdering of freckles, left over from an injudicious river expedition the summer before with neither hat nor parasol, a dreadful shortcoming.

Still, freckles notwithstanding, she was forced to admit, "So really, Lady Sheridan, Eleanor is right. I am lucky. At least I have been, up until now. What shall happen to me next . . ." Nicola bit her lower lip, and watched in themirror as it turned a deep scarlet. Rouge was strictly forbidden at the school -- as, unfortunately for Nicola's freckles, was powder -- and so the girls were forced to resort to pinches and bites if they hoped to achieve the effect of blooming health, though Nicola, with her ivory complexion and ebony lashes and hair, usually managed quite well without such tricks. "I haven't the slightest idea. I suppose now that I'm finished with my schooling, I shall be blown about by life, like a thistle in the wind."

"Well, if you should ever tire of being a thistle," Lady Sheridan said, shaking out one of her daughter's sadly crumpled shawls before handing it to Eleanor's maid, Mirabelle, to press between sheets of tissue, then fold into the trunk before them, “you are always welcome to stay with us, Nicola, for as long as you like."

"As if she would want to," Eleanor cried, turning away from the sun-filled window she'd gone to stand before. "Why, Nicky's had invitations to come and live with some of the richest girls at school! Sophia Dunleavy's asked her. Oh, and Charlotte Murphy. Even Lady Honoria Bartholomew's asked her. Her parents have a town house on Park Lane, and Lady Honoria's got her own curricle . . . not to mention an entire wardrobe copied straight from the fashion plates of La Belle Assemblée, just for her first season out. And her father's an earl -- the Earl of Farelly -- and not a measly viscount, like Papa."

"Good Lord." But Lady Sheridan was not, as one might have thought, commenting on the grandness of Lady Honoria Bartholomew's lineage. "I can't imagine what Lady Farelly could be thinking, inviting a girl like Nicola to stay during her own daughter's first season out. The woman must be mad...

An Avon True Romance: Nicola and the Viscount. Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Place of Birth:
Bloomington, Indiana
Education:
B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
Website:
http://www.megcabot.com

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Nicola and the Viscount 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not going to lie, this was my least favorite of the Avon True Romances, but it was still a good book. Its largest flaw is that the story is nearly identical to that of Victoria and the Rogue. I liked Victoria and the Rogue better because in that one the two got to spend more time together and share more.. intimate moments than in Nicola and the Viscount. In Nicola, they don't confess their love until the very, very end. i hate it when that happens. But despite its many flaws, Nicola and the Viscount is still a very good book. Read it if you have a chance, but don't put it on your priority list.
Something_Epic More than 1 year ago
Cover – The cover of this edition is not anything particularly eye catching. I do appreciate the continuity of the background scenery onto the back cover. This cover is made mainly of pastels so nothing stands out to me except for the author’s name. I do however like the text and font on this cover, as it is shiny and contrasts nicely with the backdrop image. I do not think that this book cover however would appeal to the audience reading this novel. I personally would not pick up this book but I adore Meg Cabot so naturally I recognized the author, ultimately leading to my purchase. Initial Thought/Predictions – I have already read the companion novel Victoria and the Rogue and thought it was okay, I will probably rate this a four out of five star book. I love the character interaction and gender dynamic that usually occurs in historical romance. Summary – Nicola and the Viscount is a historical romance by Meg Cabot. Set in the 1810 it follows Nicola Sparks and her first year out in society. Nicola thinks she has fallen for Lord Sebastian but is he honestly who she thinks he is? With the accusations from the handsome Nathaniel Sheridan, Nicola begins unraveling the truth. Review – To begin, I picked up this book and its companion novel, Victoria and the Rogue, from a used bookstore and couple months back. Meg Cabot is a favorite author of mine as I enjoy most of her work. As we begin the story and the male leads are introduced, I immediately took a disliking for Lord Sebastian, whereas I liked Nathaniel automatically. This is obviously what the author intended. As a whole this book is predictable and I was not shocked by any of the plot twists, and I expect most other readers will feel the same. Throughout the novel I found that I was not rooting for Nicola but for Nathaniel and hers relationship. Nicola as well as many other female characters were hard to like and grow attached to. I also got aggravated by the period vernacular, as at times it came across as very forced. Although in contrast at certain points it was well done. The last point that stood out to me was Nicola’s insistence on referring to Lord Sebastian as “the God”. I find this to e childish and somewhat elementary. It also became confusing because Nicola had nicknames for practically everybody. But on a better note. Nathaniel had great character development as did some of the other characters with the exception of Nicola. Nicola remained the same and failed to grow from any of her experience through the novel until the last three pages, in which she became a completely different person. With that said, I did guilty still enjoy the book. With both the critical standpoint and personal standpoint in mind I have given this novel a 3 ½ out of 5 star rating.
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