Foreshadow of Regret
Handsome, rich, and well-liked, Nanny Hackett has wanted for nothing. With plenty of young people to entertain her, doting parents, and enough money to afford a life of boredom, Nanny's life is going exactly according to her social class's schema. She needs only three things to fulfill her life's purpose: a husband, family, and house to call her own. At seventeen, Nanny is far from on the shelf, and fate seems opposed to even letting her be tossed about in love. Nanny's wealthy neighbor Joseph Varcoe, a man she's admired and loved since childhood, is looking to settle down. The wedding between the golden boy of the county and the accomplished granddaughter of an Earl is perhaps the most anticipated event of the year and will finally provide the fulfillment of Nanny’s life. But even the golden couple isn't immune to an objection.
Enigmatic Mattie Varcoe is the seventeen-year-old fourth son of the Varcoe family. In a family of seven, where each child seems to be more handsome, smart, and gifted than the last, Mattie feels like he does not fit his role. Though a profoundly gifted genius with an ear for music, he is neither handsome nor charming and is overlooked by his family and society in favor of his more handsome and charming brothers. Unashamed of his intelligence, Mattie isn't afraid to seek out a world where he too can shine outside of his brothers' shadows. But when tragedy strikes and Mattie is forced to return to the home that stifled him, he faces the reality he can never truly escape the world he was born into. Cut off from London and his new intellectually inclined friends, Mattie finds a project in his brother's fiancée, someone he'd equally detested and admired since their childhood. This development coupled with his new found popularity with the village girls, propels Mattie towards the position of Byronic hero (a role he's not quite sure how to play), the emancipation of a caged spirit, and the discovery of a wedding that shouldn't take place.