Pressured by her parents into a loveless marriage, Eliza finds herself widowed at 29. Her inheritance is unexpectedly large, but with a catch – she must not bring the family name into disrepute.
Multiple people in her life are telling her what to do, but for the first time her fortune allows her the opportunity to begin making decisions for herself. Beginning with a stay in Bath with her cousin, Eliza is able to ask herself what she actually wants from life. A growing friendship with a Byronic poet, and the rekindling of warmth with a former suitor, also prompt her to think about what she wants from love. All the while she must be careful that her exploration of her new self does not draw so much gossip that she loses her inheritance.
I enjoyed reading this book. A combination of ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Bridgerton’, it has a charming sense of place and society. The cast is a manageable size, with some sparkling female characters. While principally a romance, at the heart of the book is Eliza’s personal growth as she shakes off the various people who want to tell her how to live her life. It is a pleasure to see her begin to make decisions independently, even when they don’t seem entirely sensible.
I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.