This book series was a recommendation from a friend and after waiting for it for months from the library, it finally became available.
Annabelle Archer is a little bit older and a suffragette and activist in 1878 England. A “country girl,” Annabelle is destitute and working as a housekeeper to her cousins household; her cousin inherited Annabelle’s family home after Annabelle’s father passed away. Annabelle gained admission to Oxford college in their first round of admitting women to the college. As part of her agreement, she works for the suffragette movement and hands out pamphlets to men whom are in Parliament. Incidentally she meets Sebastian Devereux, Duke of Montgomery and there’s an attraction there.
A whole series of events happen in this book that are directly related to the characters social position and is eye opening in a sense that so many things were out of women’s control, and, as with all books like this, I had to spend some time researching the political climate of the time period this book took place. It’s always a good thing for a book to motivate me to do some historical research because things we take for granted have been hard fought for by those before us.
But, back to the story of Annabelle and Montgomery! I loved their story, Montgomery is inside his box of thinking and, although he professes love for Annabelle, he can not/will not see a relationship with her that fits into his life that consists of ton society and maintaining his dukedom. He offers her what society expects a Duke to offer a woman in Annabelle’s situation. All sorts of things happen to Annabelle’s life as a result and it’s pretty awful but in 1878 London, it’s what you would expect. Annabelle bears the brunt of her “inappropriate” ties with Montgomery, while mourning the loss of him because she won’t stoop to the level expected of her, because there can be not any other sanctioned relationship between them, but can there be?
I highly recommend this book, not just for the romance but for the historical perspective. 5 stars!