In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.
Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons–dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.
But it’s not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem for Lilly Westbrook, because that’s exactly what she does.
No one in Lilly’s social set knows she pens fiction under the nom de plume Fannie Cole. Not her family or the wealthy young man about to propose to her. And especially not Jackson Grail, the long-lost beau who just bought her publishing company…and who stirs her heart more than she cares to admit.
But Lilly must put aside her feelings and follow the path that will maintain her family’s social stature and provide the financial security that everyone is depending on.
Now Lilly faces a double dilemma. Can she continue to protect her secret identity? And will she have the courage to choose the man who will risk it all just to win her heart?
A very solid debut from author Cara Lynn James that promises a bright future in inspirational fiction. Cara’s vivid description of the Gilded Ages upper social echelon gives her characters a feeling of authenticity, particularly their accurate dialects and mannerisms. This book is certainly written in the vein of traditional Christian fiction, so it is very clean and charity and faith are the centers of the storyline.
The foundation of this story was very intriguing and well thought out, but I did find that the plot could be redundant and slow, specifically in the middle sections. Lilly’s dilemma over revealing her true identity and whether or not to give Jack another chance is very drawn out without any huge developments. A lot of emphasis was placed on the conformities of elite society and showing how Lilly and Jack were different from their materialistic peers. It was easy to surmise how the story would end, but it was still enjoyable.
I look forward to reading Cara’s new books and following her development as an author.