History lovers are in for another treat with this second novel in the London Beginnings series from Jennifer Delamere. I love the way that history often surprises us when we dig past the layers of generalizations, by revealing characters who were very forward-thinking for their time. Such is the case with Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and her husband James Anderson, both of whom are actual historical persons and secondary characters in this novel. Although their role in this story is minor, their advice and example are in some ways pivotal to the development of Julia and Michael’s relationship (two professionals whose spheres of expertise may occasionally run into conflict). What’s more, it was a fairly revolutionary approach to marriage for the time in which they were living.
However, the complexities in any relationship between Julia and Michael aren’t limited to perceived gender roles; Michael is currently helping to represent the Earl of Westbridge, who is suing one of the lecturers at the London School of Medicine for Women for comments she made at a public rally to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts. If they win, the damages will likely force the school to close its door—meaning this case is in direct conflict with Julia’s interests. And yet, when Julia asks Michael to tutor her in Latin so that she can pass her matriculation exam, how can he refuse the woman who saved his life?
I loved everything about this plot and the way it was firmly rooted in a tiny part of history that I would otherwise have never known about. I also enjoyed getting to know Michael and Julia and watching their friendship develop over Latin, of all things! (Okay, I admit my nerd-girl heart really enjoyed that! :-) ) And it’s a well-rounded plot, with a few sub-plots weaving in and out of Michael and Julia’s budding romance. In fact, one sub-plot waits until the very last line of the epilogue to play out, and I’m very curious to know what will follow from that in the next book in the series.
This is definitely a series to check out if you love a solid bite of history with your romance.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: Bethany House Pub (6 March 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764231456
- ISBN-13: 978-0764231452
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 581 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review