Heroine: Angelina Whitcombe - Actress, Discarded Mistress
Hero: John Martin - Soldier, Recluse
John Martin has a problem. Or so his mother thinks. Mrs. Martin decides to hire someone to seduce him, in order to get his mind back on women and marriage and heirs. Enter Angelina Whitcombe, a recently unemployed actress and currently unprotected mistress.
Angelina leaves London to seduce John, which is not as easy a task as she thought it would be. Angelina sits outside his ruined castle day after day, trying to engage him. From the very first, she never keeps her past a secret. She even goes so far as to boldly proposition him. But John is not so easily won over, so each day she appears at the castle and gradually makes her way inside it and him.
John is trying to adjust after horrors seen at war. He needs the physical activity and intense labor of restoring the castle to keep his mind occupied. The castle, once a refuge, becomes invaded by Angelina. She sweeps in and haunts him. Gets him to open up about events that happened on the battlefield, thus unburdening him some.
The growth between Angelina and John felt stunted at times, however. There was an overall lack of dialogue between the two. It didn't feel like they did so much talking as internalized thinking. It would have helped the story along, deepened their connection, to see them actually communicating instead of reading how they're feeling.
This is a short tale, as the title implies. The plot is a little bit crazy and a lot bit kooky. Which is not at all a bad thing. Angelina was charming, her insecurities made her relatable. John had quiet strength and his reclusiveness was endearing.