In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.
Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons–dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.
But it’s not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem for Lilly Westbrook, because that’s exactly what she does. No one in Lilly’s social set knows she pens fiction under the nom de plume Fannie Cole. Not her family or the wealthy young man about to propose to her. And especially not Jackson Grail, the long-lost beau who just bought her publishing company…and who stirs her heart more than she cares to admit.
But Lilly must put aside her feelings and follow the path that will maintain her family’s social stature and provide the financial security that everyone is depending on. Now Lilly faces a double dilemma. Can she continue to protect her secret identity? And will she have the courage to choose the man who will risk it all just to win her heart?
Time and Setting: Rhode Island, 1899
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Chanta Rand
I enjoyed the storyline, the characters, and the pacing of the book. The book is mainly about Lilly and Jack, with a few secondary stories about the supporting characters, such as the one featuring Irene and George. Lilly was rather a typical young woman of the period, constrained by the social attitudes of the day. She writes dime novel romances, in part to donate the funds to support a charity she is involved in. She had to write under a nom de plume for fear that her social set would ostracise her.
Jack, a man who felt he wasn’t good enough for her six years ago, left to pursue his fortune and has returned to ask for her hand in marriage. I thought he was a likeable and sympathetic hero and I found myself cheering for him in all of his endeavors to win Lilly back from her new fiancé (who, frankly, is an ass). I was impressed with Jack’s transformation from an ambitious young man concerned only about money into a more altruistic person who is concerned with the welfare of others.
There was no sex in this book, which is a departure from the romances I normally read. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the positive messages that flowed throughout the book.
About the Reviewer:
I’m a multi-published author of sizzling-hot African-American romance. I’m also a Walking Dead fan and a recovering shoe addict. I never met a stiletto I didn’t like! I’ve always been an avid reader of all romance genres. A few years ago, I decided to share my knowledge of Egypt and Nubia by publishing my first African-American historical romance, entitled Pharaoh’s Desire. Then, in November of 2010, I published my first urban romance, The Highest Bidder. Whether I’m writing historical or contemporary romances, I always try to educate my readers and teach them something they may not have known before. When I’m not writing, I enjoy doing anything artsy, collecting Native American pottery, and indulging in my one true obsession – shoe shopping! I live in Dallas, TX with my husband, photographer Kerry Rand. Author of Delay of Game, Author of Too Hot to Handle, Author of The Highest Bidder, http://www.chantarand.com/