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Lovely, wealthy, and well bred, Clarissa Vevian has been unable to find a suitable husband because of her terrible clumsiness. Her petite and fastidious mother, the Lady Clarendon, has tried to mold Clarissa into a dainty miss to fit the fashion, but until the fashions fit tall Clarissa, her mother's efforts are doomed to fail.
Enter Amy and Effy Tribble, chaperones-for-hire, who have seen three charges through the perils of three seasons and into the waiting arms of eligible gentlemen. Can they do this for Clarissa? Only if they can prevent her falling down the nearest available staircase instead of into the embrace of an appropriate suitor.
At Clarissa's approach, tea tables totter, curtains and carriages erupt into flames, and prospective suitors fall to their knees not to profess undying love but to howl in pain after being decked by an errant elbow or felled by a misplaced foot. And when Clarissa enters their home, the Tribbles fear their reputations for matchmaking success, as well as their carpets and furniture, may go up in smoke.
Confidence is what Clarissa needs, the kind of confidence that accompanies the friendly attentions of someone like the graceful Earl of Greystone, who rescues the accident-prone Clarissa from an ambush by a would-be highwayman.
The earl's feelings for Clarissa seem no more than brotherly, however, and Amy and Effy—when they're not keeping tabs on their own eligible gentlemen—are determined to help Clarissa become the stately, graceful woman that will win the earl's heart—and a few other battles too.