Title: Poets and Promises
Elisabeth Ashwood is quite content with her quiet country life and has no desire to alter it, but she finds her whole life changing when circumstances dictate that she agree to a betrothal to the son of a family friend. Their re-acquaintance, however, could only charitably be described as perilous.
Lord Sherbourne, in an attempt to gain favor with his betrothed, decides to introduce the studious Elisabeth to Leigh Hunt, leader of the London literary set. Delighted, Elisabeth finds herself frequently spending time with the morally ambiguous group, which includes Mary and Percy Shelley, despite knowing that it‚Äôs not considered an acceptable milieu for a young woman of good family.
Having set herself on a path certain to clash with societal mores, Elisabeth may have to fight to save both her good character and her growing relationship with the dashing Lord Sherbourne.
Blush sensuality level:¬†This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).
Author: Lucy Muir
Published by Ellora's Cave Source: Publisher
Published: 19 September, 2013
Genres: Historical Romace
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The words arranged marriage are archaic and disturbing to the more modern ear, and are full of connotations that equal female subservience.¬† For Elizabeth, these were her instant thoughts in this clever and engaging historical romance.¬† Far from being a prickly and headstrong character, Elizabeth is well educated and full of dreams, but na√Įve to the world and as sheltered as one would expect for a woman of her time.¬† Although the terms of her betrothal were a result of potential financial ruin, her parents chose well and kindly, not bartering her off to the first titled man with deep pockets.
Richard, Lord Sherbourne is recently returned from years in India, as the second son he did not expect to inherit the family title or lands, and his brother‚Äôs untimely death have necessitated his return to London society.¬† When the betrothal plans are announced six months hence, Elizabeth is to be chaperoned by Richard‚Äôs sister Lady Charlotte, a widow and perfectly acceptable chaperone in the eyes of the bon ton.
This was a delightful story mixing a young woman with a man of substance and giving them both time to grow and develop their affections.¬† With an incredibly effective inclusion of the up and coming literary sect, the true stricture of how ‚Äúthings are done‚ÄĚ becomes an overwhelming player in the plot, nearly causing ruin when conventions are overstepped.¬† Each character is developed with grace and dimension, giving the reader a full sense of their behavior and personality: particularly clever were the discussions at the picnics and dining tables when Richard and Elizabeth met with the more ‚Äėartistic crowd‚Äô.¬† Seeing the story of Percy and Mary Shelley‚Äôs meeting and marriage to the horror of many in London was sweetly portrayed with a bohemian flair that dance on, yet never completely overstepped the bounds of propriety.
A lovely story sure to please historical romance fans who want a sweet and gentle story that alludes to impropriety in others, but never crosses the boundaries with the main characters with any more than a kiss.¬† Lucy Muir has used the examples of the people who lived in the time and the stir that they caused in society to ground the story, and bring little moments of joy to fans of 19th century British literature.
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