Rags-to-Riches Wife by Catherine Tinley
Publication Date : January 23rd 2020
Publisher : Mills & Boon
Genre : Historical Romance
Page : 368
To wedded Lady?
Lady’s maid Jane Bailey’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of wealthy gentleman Robert Kendal. He’s come to take Jane to visit her long-lost, aristocratic grandfather. Travelling together, they succumb to a mutual attraction. Yet Jane knows a maid should not hope to love a gentleman, even if she’s suddenly wearing silk dresses and dining with the Family. Society decrees they cannot marry, but how long can Jane deny her heart?
*** Note: I won this book in giveaways ***
Rags-to-Riches Wife was lovely historical romance that revolved around Jane Bailey, a lady’s maid whose life changed when her estranged aristocratic grandfather called her to his estate. It was about class difference, forbidden romance, rich people’s behaviour towards servants, prejudice, judgement, and family drama.
Writing was beautiful, descriptive and vivid that took me back to regency era. Book was mostly set in Yorkshire at grand and impressive Beechmount Hall where Jane’s grandfather lived. Story was written in third person narrative from both Jane and Robert’s perspective which helped in understanding what was going on in their head and what they felt about the whole situation.
Plot was interesting, engaging, pretty straightforward. Book started with Jane losing her father and how their life changed after that; how Jane and her mother worked hard, found employer, earned their the position at Ledbury house in Bedfordshire; and Jane’s friendly relationship with her employer, Lady Kingswood, who taught her many things including education. At the same time Robert was sent from Yorkshire to Bedfordshire to fetch Jane at his uncle- Mr. Millinthrope’s order who didn’t know the reason behind the summon. But when he reached Ledbury house Jane and her mother knew the reason. Mr. Millinthrope was Jane’s grandfather who was estranged from her father as he couldn’t accept Jane mother for her lower status. After a bit discussion and dilema Jane agreed to travel with Robert. And so started their romantic journey. I was curious to see when and how Jane will tell Robert why his uncle summoned her and how will it affect their growing friendship and feelings.
Jane was perfect heroine. Beautiful, skilled and educated, respectful, fiery, and determined but was vulnerable. The nightmare of sexual assault still haunted her and Jane had panic attacks when something triggered those memory. I liked how delicately it was handled and how Jane found strength and safety in Robert’s company and overcame her fears.
Her feeling of loneliness, unfair and unwelcome treatment at Beechmount Hall was heart felt. I could see how tough it was to live in house where everybody looked down on her and even servant didn’t accept her. But still I admired her self-discipline and never complained or cried. Her dilemma of how to behave after arriving at Beechmount Hall and after her grandfather’s declaration was realistic. She couldn’t figure out who she was, a servant or lady of Beechmount Hall. It was difficult adjustment and change for her. I loved the way things turned out for her and how she understood who she really was.
Robert was introvert, reserved gentleman who helped his uncle maintaining estate. He was responsible, caring and kind person but I do feel he had a bit of tantrum issue. If anything troubled him he would gallop on his horse rather than talking it out and even after his head is clear from horse riding he wouldn’t voice his thoughts easily. That made book a bit longer and made me eye roll at his reaction to all things, but on the whole, I like him.
Best part of the book was descriptions of Beechmount Hall, representation of class difference, attire and fashion, conduct, etiquettes, and mind set of people, and soirée. It truly brought me to different time and era.
Romance was slow built and delightful. I enjoyed reading Jane and Robert’s journey from Ledbury house to Beechmount, how they got to know each other more, how their feeling grew from respect to friendship. They even shared kiss and started loving each other but they didn’t know it was love. Foolishness of Mr. Millinthrope breached their blossoming relationship but I liked how soirée mended things between them.
I could guess few things but climax was surprising. I wasn’t expecting such turns of events after soirée. It was sad time and when Jane and Robert were given opportunity to be together guess what they took whole 50 pages to grab it- tsk, tsk. All I wanted to do was lock them in a room and make them talk to each other, end would have come 50 pages earlier. Strangely I don’t regret it. Loved the end, despite all conflicts and drama love won at the end. I want to read more historical romance after this.
Why 4.5 stars-
Story felt a bit longer because of Jan and Robert’s inability to talk things and solve their issue.
On a lighter note, why that heroine’s eyes on cover is not blue? Jane’s eye were blue, so very blue. It doesn’t look blue to me on cover.😅
Rags-to-Riches Wife was delightful and absorbing, well written regency romance with likable characters and plot.Tweet
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my review, have you read this book already or any book by the same author. Which is you favourite historical romance set in regency era?
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