What is it about Regency England that I can’t help but love? Novels set in that time are always so captivating. I get caught up in society (even though I wouldn’t last 7 seconds), dances, Lords and Ladies and everything in between. And this debut novel from Charlotte Brentwood fit the bill perfectly!
William Brook is an idealistic young cleric, desperate to escape dreary England for a mission adventure in exotic lands. It’s his worst nightmare come true when he is posted to a parish in a small backwater village, populated with small-minded people and husband-hunting mamas. He’s determined not to form any ties and to escape the country as an independent single man.
A free spirit, Cecilia Grant is perfectly content to remain in her family home in Amberley village – when she’s not wandering the countryside at all hours painting. Marriage options are few, but that won’t stop her mother from engineering a match with one of the ruling family’s sons. Cecilia attempts to win the man, but what is it about the new vicar and his brooding ways that is so appealing? Could he be the only one who has ever really understood her, and can she discover what he is running away from?
As William struggles not to fall in love with the lady’s intoxicating beauty and mysterious eccentricity, he finds himself drawn into the lives of the villagers, despite their best efforts to alienate the newcomer. When he makes it clear he’s not sticking around, Cecilia strives to restrain her blossoming feelings for him. Just when it seems love may triumph, dark secrets are revealed in Amberley and a scandal from William’s past may see the end of not only his career, but his chance at finding an everlasting love.
What a pleasant novel this was! It’s such a sweet story between Cecilia and William and their road together. I liked each of their personalities too – they were unique and I enjoyed seeing how their personality affected some of what happened in the novel.
There’s also a colorful cast of secondary characters who bring even more to the novel (whether because you don’t like them or because you love them) with their antics and the different ways they interact with William or Cecilia. In their own ways, they help the reader understand our two leads more.
I believe there are books to come (featuring other characters from this novel), so I am eagerly awaiting those!
Who is one of your favorite Regency era authors?
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)