Our first review of 2021 is bringing it back to where we started, Pennyroyal Green. This time we're learning more about the infamous Ian Eversea. His brother-in-law now has a ward, Miss Tansy Danforth, and everyone is telling Ian to stay away. At first he's happy to do so, as this beautiful young American really does not spark any interest. Yet when he finally gets to know her, a spark ignites and all attempts to extinguish it, only fan it into a full blown fire. Please enjoy the ninth installment of Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series, Between the Devil and Ian Eversea. **just can't fight the SPOILERS**
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Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:
0:00 - 07:09: Intro/Author Facts/History Facts
07:09 - 19:28: Synopsis
19:28 - 23:28: Parlour
23:28 - 50:17: General Discussion
If you'd like to pick up a copy of The Rancher Meets his Match by Kate Pearce, check it out here!
We are now including our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea Synopsis:
Titania Danforth, better known as Tansy, has had the worst year imaginable. Her brother was killed in the War of 1812 and now both her parents have died in a carriage accident. After losing what was left of her family, Tansy has been shipped to England to be the ward of her father’s good friend, The Duke of Falconbridge
She is now staying in the family home of Duchess of Falconbridge, whom we know as Genevieve Eversea.
So far the duke is a little intimidating, the duchess is very kind, and everyone is very nice except they seem to be skipping over a member of their family.
Ian Eversea is going about his life but he’s in need of something more. He’s restless and not that kind that he wants to tame with a wife like everyone suggests. Instead he’s decided to use all the money he’s saved and sail around the world until he runs out of money.
When he heads back to Pennyroyal Green he learns of his family’s guest and is immediately warned away by, well everyone.
Ian is a bit miffed. Yes he can see that Tansy Danforth is beautiful but she clearly uses her beauty to manipulate men and he’s not interested.
Tansy on the other hand is immediately infatuated with Ian. She knows she is there to marry a man the Duke approves of in order to gain her inheritance. Tansy can see right away that Ian is not on the approved list, yet she cannot help but wish to gain his attention.
Our first interaction is at a ball held at the Eversea house. Tansy has claimed she’s a bit of a wallflower, but no one is fooled, especially Ian. At some point Ian finds himself asking Tansy to dance and it ends in just a bit of an awkward moment. Quote:
“Well,” she said thoughtfully, “nicknames are usually shortened names, are they not? For instance, if the diminutive derived from the first syllable of the name Jonathan is Johnny, what would my nickname logically be given my name is Titania?” “Well I suppose one would call you Tit . . . sy.” An infinitesimal moment of horror passed. He was halfway into the word before he fully realized what he was saying, and momentum carried him all the way through it. He stared at her as if a mourning dove had just sunk fangs into his hand.
As things progress, our interactions do not get steamier. In fact, Tansy keeps making things awkward and then kicking herself while she’s alone in her room. Ian on the other hand is worried that Tansy is going to ruin Olivia’s chance at finally finding happiness since Lyon Redmond’s disappearance.
Our plot takes an interesting turn at the annual Marksmanship Competition. Ian has agreed to judge the tournament. The whole of Pennyroyal Green is there to observe the Competition, including all the most prominent ladies. Quote:
A murder of crows, a pride of lions, a judgment of ladies, he amused himself by thinking. Still, he might need to revise it to a murder of ladies, given some of the expressions.
The first round is archery, where Simon Covington shoots his arrow into the crowd after being distracted by Seamus Duggan speaking to Tansy (she has all the men in town making eyes at her). Now his wild arrow ends up hitting Lord Henry in the ass and the competition is paused while Ian helps extract said arrow.
The next round is less exciting, since no one can seem to shoot the apple with a musket. Every man takes a turn and then takes another turn. Finally after countless misses, Tansy asks if she can have a go. All the men happily agree, Ian more reluctantly so. He shows her how to hold the musket, in a classic stand behind her and steady her hold. Tansy fires the musket, falling back into Ian. That was lovely for Tansy, but not as lovely as obliterating the apple and winning the Marksmanship Competition.
Everyone is so enthused at the events of the day that they take their celebration back to Eversea house.
Colin sees Ian looking over at Tansy and asks what he thinks of their guest. Ian’s opinion is not really the most accepted one in Pennyroyal it turns out.
“I’m telling you, Colin, she’s Beelzebub in a bonnet. Satan in Satin.” “The devil in damask?” “Precisely,” Ian agreed fervently. Deliberately ignoring Colin’s irony.
Colin thinks Ian is just acting and even warns him to stay away from Tansy. Ian is getting really tired of everyone thinking he just ravishes women willy nilly.
While they’re talking, Tansy takes a walk with a Sergeant Sutton who claims to want to talk to her about a piece of art in the house. He then uses this time to try and force himself onto Tansy
“Oh, we can fight our desires all we wish, but nature always wins. Nature knows what’s best. And why shouldn’t we give it a little assistance? I feel that we should.” “Our desires, Sergeant Sutton?” He’d stepped closer. She stepped back. “I feel you should have used a different preposition.”
Sergeant Sutton is about to get rough when suddenly Ian swoops in and saves the day.
Once he deals with Sutton, Ian turns on Tansy.
He accuses her of playing with fire. To which she asks, doesn’t he do the same thing?
It turns heated and eventually Ian gets to that calm level of anger and Tansy decides to shush up and walk away. Both are rattled by the event though.
The next day, Ian is at the Pig & Thistle when Ned Hawthorne tells him that Polly is missing. They head out to look for her, only to find that Tansy had already found her and was on the way to get help. Ian and Tansy see Ned and Polly off and the act of helping someone in need, gets them to speak without tension or awkwardness.
Ian asks if she misses America (Resounding yes) and they talk a bit about adventure novels and how Ian plans to take a journey across the sea.
The conversation then turns to Lilymont, Tansy’s childhood home. Ian mentions that it is for sale (in fact the Duke and Duchess might be interested in purchasing it). Tansy smiles wistfully, saying she wonders if her name is still under the kitchen window where she once carved it.
As expected this is when we get that juicy sexual tension moment. Ian and Tansy are all carefree until she trips and Ian catches her. Their eyes meet and things start to sizzle. Finally they have a earth shattering kiss which is looking very promising until Ian abruptly stops.
“Please stop playing at things you don’t fully understand, Tansy. It will be the undoing of you. It’s so very, very easy to lose yourself this way.
“Is that why you do it?” she asked softly. Ironically. “To lose yourself?”
And again they leave each other frustrated and in a huff.
Ian tries to avoid Tansy but of course a couple days later he sees her leaning over her balcony rail late at night (he has the room next door) he rushes over to help. Instead she was looking for constellations and Ian, cannot help himself where she is concerned anymore. They are finding that they are very similar, each with their own reckless streak.
That streak takes us to Encounter #1, which involves Tansy seeing “shooting stars” and Ian feeling very much the martyr. He tells her that this cannot happen again.
The next night Ian awakes from one of his usual bad dreams to find Tansy in his room. She snuck in but now she just wants to comfort him from his dream. He tells her about how he was injured in the war and she tells him about her family and her dreams for the future. Hearing those dreams, Ian knows he cannot be the one to ruin her, as much as he would like to make love to her, she is meant for someone else. The Duke would never approve of him. So he sends her back to her room.
Morning arrives and with it comes an heir to a dukedom. While he is everything Tansy initially set her sights on (except he could be handsomer) and yet all she can think about is Ian.
A couple nights later Ian is in bed hoping that Tansy doesn’t come, but also that she will. He wakes to find the room empty. When he awakens later, there she is sitting at the end of the bed. He immediately pulls off her night dress and gets to work as per his all or nothing ultimatum he gave her earlier.
Then they have Encounter #2, 3, and 4.
Just when everything should be bliss it’s not. The duke’s heir is moving fast and Tansy has now learned that Ian was the one who wrote to Lord Stanhope and he is planning to sail away around the world in two weeks.
She confronts him that night and he gives her the honest truth.
“...I will tell you a few things that I know to be true. I wanted you, Tansy. I want you now. I will want you until the day I die. I never promised or implied a thing other than that. You wanted me, too. The duke will never allow me to marry you. And I am leaving.”
The evening of the Grand Ball arrives and Tansy and Ian have been avoiding each other for the past 12 days.
At the ball the two have a moment when Tansy asks Ian not to sleep with the widow who’s been making eyes at him. He tells her he won’t, simply because she asked. He though, cannot ask her not to marry the future duke. Not if he’s not willing to offer an alternative.
After Ian realizes that Lord Stanhope just sees Tansy as a possession and not a person, he kind of loses his shit. In the middle of the ball. Then he storms off with a purpose he did not have before.
The next morning, Ian steals Lord Stanhope's meeting with Falconbridge and lays all his cards on the table. They bury the hatchet and he gives Ian permission to marry Tansy.
Genevive then tells Tansy they must go for a drive. Reluctantly she agrees and is surprised when they arrive at Lilymont. Genevive tells Tansy she’ll catch up with her in the garden and then drives away...because Ian is there.
He’s used his savings to purchase Lilymont and asks Tansy if she will marry him.
“...And if you would do me the honor of being my wife, I will always love you better than anyone in the world, until our children come, and then I will love all of you more than life. I will devote the rest of my days to doing my best to making you happy. You must marry me, unless, of course, you’d like to see me perish. Will you?”
It’s very fortunate that Tansy also loves him too and they are married a very short time later.
Olivia, on the day of the wedding, receives a proposal of her own. Landsdowne knows she may never love him the way he loves her but he says he will do his best to make her happy. And well, Lyon isn’t there but Landsdowne is, so she says yes.