Title: An Unlikely Countess
Author: Jo Beverley
One night an impoverished and unloved Catesby goes to the aid of an impoverished damsel in distress, Prudence. He finds that she is more impoverished than he. He takes pity and leaves her the few coins he has with him. He also is rewarded with a sweet kiss. He finds he cannot dismiss her so easily from his mind. He really cares about her.
Prudence gets the courage she was lacking from the rescue by Cate. His encouraging words helped her. She can't seem to forget that one sweet kiss eitger. Her hero left her a pin to sell but she keeps it for a talisman for her courage against her selfish brother. She finally goes to confront him. She barges into her sister-in-law 's world demanding what is her right . Pru had to blackmail her but she gets food, shelter, clothes and suiters.
She decides to marry the wealthy man recommended by her sister-in-law. Her future now looks hopeless without love for she can't forget Cate.
When she is at the wedding alter marrying the nasty wealthy man, Cate bursts into the scene again demanding that Pru was promised to him. He has rescued her again. They leave the church quickly and marry.
This is not the end but only the beginning of this adventure.
Superbly written and extremely interesting. I found I loved this story. She wove a genuine tale of how bleak the prospects of a woman were in this time frame.
The second or third sons had a bleak life too but they could work, women couldn't. It was either starve or become a fallen woman taking pay for her favors.
The characters made me so engaged I became enraged at the selfish brother and the uncaring mother of Cate. It was an engrossing read and on par with Beverley's other outstanding work. I couldn't put it down and you won't be able to either.
I gave her Five Stars and wish I had Ten. I loved this one.