Quadrille ~ A Dance for Four People by Brendan Carroll
Christian David Hunt, the illegitimate son of the Late Squire Hunt, is on his own in London in the mid-1750’s, trying to make a go of life on the pitiful allowance his half-sister and brother-in-law allow him while his case sits in the courts waiting for a hearing. Even though his father raised him to be the next Squire of Huntington Downs, his brother-in-law has other plans for the estate.
With only his bumbling man-servant, Thomas Boone Partridge, to help him, he cannot avoid getting into trouble right quickly in the city. His wandering eye for the ladies and his inability to budget his money lands him in the sticky web of a wealthy married woman who happens to be the wife of a baronet. Forced into her company by his desperate need of money enough to wait out the court’s decision concerning his heredity, his situation becomes extremely complicated in short order. He inadvertently causes the death of a young man enamored of his landlady’s daughter who has, unfortunately, set her cap on marrying David Hunt.
Meanwhile back at the Hunt estate in the country, his neighbor and late father’s best friend, Squire Summerlin forbids his daughter, Lydia, with whom David is madly in love from seeing him and sends her off to France. By the time Lydia can escape back to London where her beloved waits for her, he is embroiled in a juicily public affair with Lady Hornsworthy. Not only is his reputation completely ruined by his association with the ‘good’ Lady, the dead man’s older brother has come to town seeking revenge with a mind to make David Hunt suffer as much as possible.
Lady Hornsworthy arranges a fine marriage for the heartbroken Lydia with her father’s consent to her well-heeled cousin, the portly, middle-aged Lord Barrington. Enter Lady Hornsworthy’s beautiful, but precocious young niece, Lucinda who seems bent upon tormenting David to death while he tries desperately to stay alive long enough to straighten out his life. Lucinda, however, has a surprising motive for her puzzling behavior.
The story has many twists and turns, humor, misadventures, and frustrating situations begging for resolution. It is written in honor of the English writer, Henry Fielding, author of the eighteenth century bawdy comedic novel “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” and as such is both a Bildungsroman (coming-of-age story) and a Picaresque novel (comedic romance). The themes are adult romance, but are rather more suggestive than erotic and suitable for YA readers.
The novel is available at Amazon.com for Kindle in the United States and the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, India and Brazil.