One of thirteen in a dozen. The author explains in a foreword that this is her first book but while she was writing it she decided on writing the more dark and serious "Moths and butterflies." That one I had read first and that one is marvellous. This one is for the people who like regency / victorian romances light and predictable. Nevertheless it gives a look into and England changing from agriculture to industrial times.
Amazon description: An illustrious marriage, a fortune, a position of wealth and influence.
These are the dreams and ambitions of any Victorian woman of sense. Or
Perhaps not for Arabella Gray.
The death of
Abbie’s father, the overseer of a large country estate, leaves her
without means or resources, without, even, a place to live. Her
landlords, in an extraordinary display of charity, invite her to live at
Holdaway Hall. But the invitation is as puzzling as it is generous. Why
are the Crawfords, who have never paid her any notice before, so
concerned with her wellbeing now?
It’s a question the younger
Crawford brothers would like to have answered as well. Certainly Miss
Gray is a mercenary upstart. Certainly their brother is mad for fancying
himself in love with her. Such a union would make them a laughing
stock. They mean to put a stop to it, but when they learn that her past
is closely—even disturbingly—connected with their own, they are brought
up short, forced to ask themselves some very hard questions.
Abbie herself soon learns, there is a great mystery at the heart of her
landlords’ extraordinary offer. Everything she has ever dreamt of might
be hers for the taking, but is the price worth it? More than her
happiness alone rests upon her decision. If she refuses Ruskin
Crawford’s offer of marriage, will she be able to live with the
consequences? If she does, will she be able to live with herself?
the end, all must ask themselves some very hard questions. What does it
mean to be a man or woman of honor and integrity? What does it mean,
after all, to be a gentleman? And what, exactly, is the price of a