When I read historical romance novels I tend to look for books with witty writing, where the action sometimes borders on farce, the best of which deliver emotional wallops in between the laughs. I blame Jane Austen. I do tend to shy away from angsty books, books that sell themselves on heartbreak.
Cecilia Grant writes books that make me feel and care, neither angst-fest or farces. Her latest novel A Woman Entangled is the story of Nick Blackshear, brother to Will of A Gentleman Undone and Martha of A Lady Awakened. Nick, a skilled Barrister toiling away at the Inns of the Court is trying to live down his brother's scandalous marriage to a former courtesan. He enjoys a delicate friendship with the beautiful Miss Kate Westbrook, daughter of his former mentor, who he once tried to romance. Miss Westbrook feels strongly the effects of her own parents scandalous marriage, and despite her loving home, she longs for a reconciliations with her tonish Westbrook relations and hopes that her beauty may secure her an advantageous marriage that might lift the fortunes of her siblings. After years of careful cultivation they both are rewarded with possibly life changing opportunities that draw them together outside their normal sphere. Nick is offered the opportunity to tutor a new Baron, an opportunity that might finally allow him to embark in the political life he had sought, and the same time Kate is finally able to secure invitations to the ton balls and soirées that might allow her to attract a peer's attention. Their encounters in these different social test their friendship and make them question not only their desires but with their own identity and ambitions. There is no insta-love, or magical healing vaginas in this story instead closeness and intimacy. This is not a fluffy confection, but rather delicate exploration the complicated ties of friendship & family that define us.
I received a copy of A Woman Entangled from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes