Bitchery reader Noelle asks:
I really loved this book and even lent it to my grandmother because at the time the twist was so unique. She passed away before my 11yr old was born so I read it 92-94ish. It’s a historical and to me it had a Horatio Hornblower feel to it. I can’t remember any names though. The heroine is the Post Mistress of Bath who loves her job and uses it to give gainful employment to the youth of Bath that might not otherwise have had a chance at a decent future. (awww)
Her father hates that she works and wants to be independent so he blackmails a succession of losers to try and seduce her into marriage. She always seems to uncover what her father’s hold is over the men and quickly finds a way to dismiss them until the dashing Navy Captain arrives.
He’s very well connected, rich, attractive and she just can’t figure out what in the world her father could possibly have on this man that’s ten times the man of any of the others. From what she gathers, it’s something bad, very very bad. And the hero is relentless in his pursuit. No matter what she does he won’t back down. And slowly she’s starting to fall for him. Oh and they all play cards A LOT, like every night.
Eventually as they both realize they have feelings for each other she uncovers his deep dark secret. Dun…dun….DUN…He can’t read! He can navigate a ship sure, but he uses a secretary to write all his correspondence. It turns out that he’s dyslexic. She begins to try and teach him with flash cards of course cause they all love the card games. And of course, she teaches him while they’re in bed and the first word he learns is breast. But then her father decides he doesn’t want them together and comes to town and tries to expose his secret at, you guessed it, a card party by introducing a new card game that uses words instead of numbers. But apparently she manages to teach him a few more words besides, breast, lips and vulva because he makes it through the game and at some point they live HEA. That ring a bell with anyone?
Dirty card games to help with dyslexia? Oh yeah, baby. Learning disabilities were never so much fun.