This novella is the seventh book in The Brothers Sinister Series and I will say that it is just as amazing as the previous six. Courtney's style of writing is pure enjoyment. In this book she tackles two major sterotypes of the time period.
The first one is that women are just as intelligent as men and the prevailing assumption that women should be wives and mothers and stay in their place. Rose is a shopkeepers daughter who happens to be a mathamatics genius and loves Astronomy. She is shy and prefers to remain unnoticed.
The other is that is a black women in a white man's world. She has grown up knowing that she has a certain place in the world and that to step out of it would only cause her and her family scandal and heartbreak.
And then she meets Stephen Shaughnessy, a white irishman who writes a scandalous advice column. (You met Stephen in The Suffragette Scandal). He is a rake who is very handsome and funny. He lives two doors down from her sister who she is staying with .
Stephen is fascinated by Rose. He is a devil may care kinda guy who has seduced many women, but he has never gone out of his way for any of them. Rose is different, she is beautiful, intelligent, demure and he cannot seem to stop thinking about her. He feels differently about her, when he first starts to flirt with her he is not thinking about seducing her, he just wants to be with her however he can.
Rose knows that she has to discourage him because nothing good can come out of a relationship between them. She cannot let him seduce her even though she wants him to.
Stephen talks her employer into letting him take mathematical lessons from her just so he can be in her company. Rose is wary of this but agrees. The more time they spend together the more Stephen realizes he is in love with her. Rose loves him too but she sees the world for what it really is and knows that she cannot have him for herself.
The idea of them getting married and having children scares her and she thinks that Stephen is being naive about the consequences.
I won't spoil the rest of the story for you, but you have to read this book. As usual Courtney has written a beautiful book that keeps you turning the pages until the end. This is the first historical romance that I have read that tackles the issue of romance between black and white races and I applaud Courtney for wirting it. Today an inter-racial romance is no big deal, but in 1882 this wa a big, big deal.
If you have not read any of Courtney books, do so right away. You won't be sorry!!!