by Paula MarshallThis book was my introduction to Paula Marshall's works and let me tell you, when I picked it up I was suffering from a minor wave of disillusion about the entire Historical Romance genre. The reason I had started reading historicals in the first place was because I needed a fix after Georgette Heyer (now don't suggest Austen: her books I finished and refinished before my thirteenth birthday).
Suddenly here this was, a book with a cover, not too different from all other covers of the late 90s' H.R.
To my happy surprise Ms Marshall finally gave me what I had been looking for, for ages!- A book with true romance! A story that develops and keeps developing till the last page of the book- where the hero and heroine don't fall madly in lust and then as an afterthought, love.
How refreshing that premarital sex in the regency era wasn't the basic premise for this historical novel!
Let me tell you a bit about the story. Hester Waring is no prize and in the small, just developing, town of Sydney in the out-backs of Australia, she is the most pitied and homely looking woman amongst the English community ladies that resided there.
Her father had just died and she was quite literally starving and desperate for a job. She had been shunned by society because her father- a once respectable man- had degenerated into a very nasty person whom everyone was glad to avoid and wanted nothing to do with. It was a small community of upper class gentlemen and ladies and they had not much useful to say to Hester.
She applied for the teacher's post in the new school and was almost turned down (her starved appearance was that bad), but for the intervention of Tom Dilhorne.
Tom was an ex-convict who was now a very rich man. He had the Sydney society by its collar for he owned almost every profitable institution in town, but he couldn't gain their respect, for he was obviously no gentleman (and he never bothered to pretend that he was).
He was on the school board and his sharp eyes immediately saw what all of Hester's social equals had missed- that the girl didn't walk around looking like a rag doll to snub them, but was nearly faint with hunger and hopelessly poor.
Hester didn't want Tom's help, for her father had ingrained in her a deep hatred for him- blaming all their misfortunes on the man- but she was too desperate to refuse.
From then onwards Tom devised a plan. He was a man of many plans.
He wanted to marry Hester, put plenty of food in her, back up her social standing with his money and buy some of that illusive respect that society reserved for only their own.
Tom didn't want them to acknowledge him out of a need to be part of the Sydney noble class, but because it would ease the many projects he wanted to push forward that would help grow his beloved town and make him money.
I love their courtship, I love their marriage and I love how they each grow to understand and respect the other!
Oh, and I love how they fall in love. ,'0)]
|Title||Hester Waring's Marriage|
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|Publisher||Mills & Boon|
|File size||5.7 Mb|
|Book rating||4.5 (128 votes)