HaBO: Shirtless Sheep Rescue

This HaBO request is from Meredith and she wants to find a romance she read in high school:

I’m trying to recall a book I remembered hiding under my mattress during high school. This was the late 90s, early 2000s though, so my memory has completely failed me. The book could have been older, but not by a lot. I’d say 90s. Here’s what I recall:

The cover might have been teal, or the dress on the cover. I think the font was a sort of hot pink.

The plot: Heroine’s mother has married the hero’s brother and gone gallivanting around the world, leaving the heroine to take care of her siblings without much money. The heroine wants to learn how to seduce like a courtesan so that she can marry (or maybe she wants to BE a courtesan? I can’t remember which). She goes to find the hero who had a reputation as a rake, but has since left society and lives in the country. She wants him to teach her how to be seductive. Towards the end of the plot he is called back into action as a spy in France and must leave her. But she follows him! Or they get stuck together in France in so other way, and they must escape during the Terror.

Other details I remember: when she first meets him she thinks he’s a farmer because he’s pulling a sheep out of a hedgerow, shirtless. She and he bond over farming techniques because she’s also interested in soil, or cattle. And, in the dressmaker’s shop where he’s picking out her clothes for seduction, he picks one that is basically backless.

Who knows this one?

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