on March 30th 2017
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The Roxtons are back! Romance. Drama. Intrigue. Family secrets. There’s never a dull moment for the 18th Century’s first family…
Widowed and destitute, Lady Mary Cavendish is left with only her pride. Daughter of an earl and great-granddaughter to a Stuart King, family expectation and obligation demands she remarry. But not just any man will do; her husband must rank among the nobility. Falling in love with her handsome and enigmatic neighbor is out of the question. As always, Mary will do her duty and ignore her heart.
Country squire Christopher Bryce has secretly loved his neighbor Mary for many years. Yet, he is resigned to the cruel reality they are not social equals and thus can never share a future together. Never mind that his scandalous past and a heartbreaking secret make him thoroughly unworthy of such a proud beauty.
Then into their lives steps a ghost from Mary’s past, whose outrageous behavior has Mary questioning her worldview, and Christopher acting upon his feelings, and for all to see. The mismatched couple begin to wonder if in fact love can prevail—that a happily ever after might just be possible if only they dare to follow their hearts.
Mary and Christopher’s story can be read as a standalone and fans of the series will delight in being reacquainted with the fascinating, always surprising and never ordinary members of the Roxton family.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Proud Mary: A Georgian Historical Romance, is the fifth book in the Roxton Family Series by Lucinda Brant. It can easily be read as a stand alone novel, but having read all the others in the series I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with some of the characters when they were mentioned again in this book.
Lady Mary Cavendish had an arranged marriage, an unhappy one at that, but one good thing came from it, her beautiful daughter Teddy. When Lady Mary’s husband died he left her practically penniless, and the family estate and holdings in debt. In his will he stated that he wanted Squire Christopher Bryce, their neighbour, to be Teddy’s guardian, and that Teddy was in no way to have any contact with Lady Mary’s Roxton relatives. He held a grudge against Julian Roxton, one that he carried on after his death with his will.
Christopher has secretly been in love with Mary for years, and he loves her daughter as his own. She in fact calls him Uncle Bryce and loves him too. It’s no hardship to him to be her guardian. He also spends two days a week at Mary’s home as her acting steward. He is doing his best to get the place up to scratch, the debts to be paid off, and for the estate to be worthy of it’s heir when he comes of age.
In the two years since Mary became a widow, Christopher has bided his time. He didn’t want to be crass and let her know his feelings before her time of mourning was over, and after that year, he more or less convinced himself that even if he did let her know of his love, they could never marry because she is expected to marry a man of means, of the same class as her, not just a country squire. He may have a lot of money, even more than a lot of the nobility, but he’d never be of the same class as her, and a woman of nobility must marry up, not down. He also has some secrets that he needs to tell Mary about which could change her opinion of him for the worse. Despite knowing that, he loves Mary with all his heart and just wishes things could be different.
When somebody from Mary’s past returns, somebody of the correct class, and somebody who is more than willing to offer for Mary’s hand in marriage, Christopher must take stock. He is shocked when the man in question tells him that he is leaving for a month, only to return to ask Mary to marry him. He offers Christopher that month to let his feelings for Mary be known to her, to allow them to fulfil any lustful notions they have towards each other, then he will return and make a respectable married woman of her. Christopher doesn’t know what to do with the offer. Could he and Mary just enjoy a month of freedom together, he is sure she has feelings towards him. But how can he possibly spend just that one month with her and then watch her marry another man?
Along side the wonderful characters of Mary and Christopher and of course her daughter Teddy, we also are introduced again to the wonderful Roxton family, including the marvellous Antonia who I have loved from the very start of the series. There is a particular scene between her and her husband Jonathan when talking about the gender of the baby she is pregnant with, that had me in floods of tears. Such a beautiful moment between them.
There is also some intrigue going on with treason afoot, and the person/s in question having to be captured. That’s one of the things I love so much about this author’s books, they have the perfect romantic element, the era they are set in is wonderful, but there is also a plethora of sub plots that keep you intrigued from beginning to end of each book. There is never a dull moment. The characters are all discussed in-depth, and you can’t help but love the good ones, and either pity or despise the bad ones.
I loved this book and recommend it wholeheartedly. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.