Meh. Not appalling, but it's not going to linger in my mind forever either. I don't normally go for the "I don't want to marry HIM! I'm going to run away!" plots because they tend to be heavy on the flouncing and light on the common sense. This one was better than most in that regard. I wouldn't call Amelie Silverdale a rocket scientist, but I wouldn't consider one of the dread feisty heroines either. Basically she comes off as a scared kid trying to get away from betrothal to an eeeevil nobleman and whenever she runs into roadblocks along the way, she tries to brazen it out. She actually does manage to do a fair amount of self-rescuing, so even if she sometimes annoyed me, I have to give her credit for that.What made this book fall apart for me was the romance - or lack of it. When running away from home, Amelie falls right into the clutches of Gareth Denville, a disgraced nobleman who is intent on an escape of sorts himself. Amelie tells Gareth she is a runaway servant, and he gets her away from the house but it's obvious he views her as an "amusement." While Gareth doesn't manage to take advantage of Amelie, I did resent his treatment of her at first even if he did redeem himself a bit later. I kept on reading, though, and made it all the way to the end. The book sags quite a bit in the middle, with a plot that just meanders, and by the end, I found myself feeling pretty disengaged from the romance.