Historic romance is enjoying its place in the sun and I’m thrilled to see that authors are tackling different eras. Today I have a title from the Roaring Twenties series from Sharon Page. Please read on for my review of
The Worthington Wife
Going in, from the description I expected a solid sense of the post WWI feel: a grab the gusto from life sort of attitude combined with social change that is manifesting itself in the attitude and self-reliance of the women in the story, and the struggle of the men to find some sort of normal that they remembered from before the war.
And Page does manage to provide a heroine in Julia, born to a title and those expectations, she’s decided that marriage and the other expectations of her class are not at all interesting, she’d prefer to find solace after the death of her fiancé at the Somme, by helping the widows from the war. So, her motives are intriguing – but the path there was more than a bit convoluted and confused. And for her part, Julia was the only character developed in ways that extended past the superficial.
When we add in Cal, the newly found American heir to the Worthington Estate, with his anger and plots to make up for his own father’s treatment as a child, this man has little on his mind but securing his new inheritance to bring the whole mess crashing down and, by extension, ruin the family name. With a convenient marriage between he and Julia, a pile of secrets and a mystery added that seemed only to serve itself and not forward plot motion, the book starts to feel like a lengthy if not particularly challenging read.
Secondary characters were outlines at best, descriptions of place were wonderful while a sense of the 20’s was almost non-existent. Language and attitudes are modern, perhaps more than the stated timeframe, and the feel of a society on the edge of great social changes was told, repeatedly, much more than shown. Overall, the storytelling missed opportunities to develop the characters, the mystery was basic and served only to add another layer that, while resolved, did little to service the story progression. Most glaring for me was the lack of any actual sense of the 20’s. This was a story, that with a few small changes could have been set in any era – and as a lover of historical romance, it is the era – one not represented frequently in the genre, that was done a disservice here. Light, easy to read and non-challenging, this is a story that wandered and meandered never feeling very committed to any of the promise offered in the synopsis.
Title: The Worthington Wife
Author: Sharon Page
Series: Roaring Twenties #2
Genre: British, Historical Romance, Jazz Age
Published by: HQN Books
Published on: 27 December, 2016
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Sharon Page sparkles in this poignant and irresistibly entertaining follow-up to her breakout novel, An American Duchess
Lady Julia Hazelton is the most dazzling among 1920s England's bright, young things. But rather than choosing the thrill of wanton adventure like so many of her contemporaries, Julia shocks society with her bold business aspirations. Determined to usher the cursed Worthington estate into a prosperous, modern new era, and thus preserve her beloved late fiancé's legacy, the willful Julia tackles her wildest, most unexpected adventure in Cal Carstairs, the reluctant new Earl of Worthington.
The unconventional American artist threatens everything Julia seeks to protect while stirring desires she thought had died in the war. For reasons of his own, Cal has designed the ultimate revenge. Rather than see the estate prosper, he intends to destroy it. But their impulsive marriage—one that secures Julia's plans as well as Cal's secrets—proves that passion is ambition's greatest rival. Unless Cal ends his quest to satisfy his darkest vendetta, he stands to ruin his Worthington wife and all her glittering dreams.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.