The Duchess' Lover

3.13 avg rating
( 55 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780515132779: The Duchess' Lover

A breathtaking new historical romance about one night of passion between a society lady and a handsome gardener-and the consequences of falling in love.

"Julie Beard has a true gift." (Susan Wiggs)

"There is a magical quality to Julie Beard's writing that brings to life a long-ago time of pageantry and legend, yet gives us characters who are living, breathing people to care about." (Heart to Heart)

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From Publishers Weekly:

Set during the late Victorian period, Beard's newest (after Very Truly Yours) is a descriptive love story that emphasizes the tensions between the social classes. Olivia Thorpe, the newly widowed duchess of Brandhurst, and Will Barnes, a garden designer and frustrated portrait painter, share a heated, spontaneous night together following the death of Olivia's husband, but it isn't until a year later that they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. Unbeknownst to many, the duke's death was not due to natural causes. He was murdered, and Olivia's power-hungry nephew intends to drag the scandal out into the open and accuse her of the deed. After all, the duke was stabbed with her letter opener, and she had plenty of motive her husband was abusive. Will, however, is determined to find the killer and salvage Olivia's reputation, even if it means giving up their love. A subplot focusing on the plight of female factory workers is woven seamlessly into the plot, and a cast of full-bodied secondary characters augment the narrative. The resulting book is a multifaceted read that paints an accurate portrait of a bygone era while tugging on the reader's heartstrings.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Readers of Victorian-period fiction know that class consciousness dictated every aspect of life, including love. So when Olivia, Duchess of Brandhurst, discovers artist Will Barnes in her garden the night of her husband's funeral, she not only seduces him but decides to learn about and experience life to the fullest. Best-selling author Beard plunges the reader into the sordid side of life in late Victorian England as her heroine moves on from gratifying her own desire and curiosity to enlisting in the noble cause of social activism, leaving the ivory-tower existence her birthright grants her to speak out for better working and living conditions for those less fortunate than herself, especially other women, including prostitutes and match-factory girls. Lynne Welch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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