Dismissed from her job as a scullery maid and cast aside by her lover, pregnant Cara Morland has no choice but to return to her father’s farm. While lies of widowhood keep her from disgrace, Cara is faced with a local landowner’s unwanted attentions. Without the social status to do much more than avoid the vile man, she loses hope of ever finding happiness.
A friendship based on mutual loneliness blossoms between Cara and James Elliot, a young farm hand hired by her father. He offers his protection, and one shared kiss reveals his heart, but propriety and her feigned grieving period hinders what they both desire.
When Cara’s stalker learns the truth of her circumstances, he gives her an ultimatum—submit to his possession or he’ll ruin her second chance at love with James.
Publisher and Release date: The Wild Rose Press, English Tea Rose First Edition August 25, 2013
Time and Setting: 19th Century England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Diane Owens Prettyman
Terri Rochenski’s novella is a warm, compassionate story set in the heart of England. With phrases like this
“…although Papa never mentioned his own disappointment, I understood the thoughts that must have tormented him. Papa had no male heir. No strapping young men to ease his aging bones,”
– the author demonstrates her command of emotion without the use of purple prose.
I enjoyed her descriptions of the Moors.
“Grouse and plovers flapped and fluttered in abundance, a few startling a shriek from my lips.”
This lovely phrase and others engaged me throughout the novella.
The trials of a young woman in 19th century England are accurately depicted. By including the social mores of the time and the details of the English setting, the author placed me in the middle of a story that took place almost two hundred years ago.
From start to finish, the novella is well-written. Some events may be coincidental and predictable, but these faults are easily overlooked amidst the easy flow of the engaging story.