Publisher: Kensington Books - Lyrical Press
Length: 188 pages
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
United to exact revenge on a common enemy, they discover passion is the ultimate reward.On the strength of her wit and intelligence, Catherine Delcour climbed from Connecticut poverty to opulent Paris society. But once in New York, her lowly past is a scandal her wine merchant husband won’t tolerate. After five years of marriage, Morris announces their union isn’t valid and reveals his plan to send her to the West Indies. So long as she behaves, he’ll continue to provide for her until the ship leaves. Fearing she’ll end up destitute, Catherine schemes to escape--and secure her future with his treasured bottle of wine.
Under the guise of supervising Delcour’s wayward wife, Benjamin Thomas seeks to avenge his sister’s death by ruining him. But Catherine isn’t the spoiled society wife Benjamin expects. His growing affection for Catherine threatens more than his carefully constructed plans. His vow to never touch another man’s wife has never been harder to keep than when he’s around the beguiling beauty.
When Catherine and Benjamin join forces, their sensual natures collide even as their individual desires for passion, vengeance, and escape threaten to tear them apart.
CONTENT WARNING: A spirited heroine, her reluctant watchdog and steamy scenes where breeches and ball gowns are quickly discarded.
A Question of Class opens with a bang when Catherine Delcour's husband, Morris, announces he'd duped her into thinking she'd married him on board a ship bound for France. While they lived there, Catherine had served her purpose well. She was charming and a highly anticipated guest at the various social events they attended, making her the ideal partner for helping Morris further his wine distribution business.
Upon their return to New York, they find Society is more stringent about whom they admit to the inner circles. Catherine comes from a working class background and therefore, part of the great unwashed in the eyes of the upper crust. Suddenly, she's more of a liability than an asset. Because of this, Morris has made arrangements to send Catherine away. But it will be a short time before he can accomplish this, so he hires his brother-in-law, Benjamin Thomas, to keep an eye on Catherine.
Catherine is attracted instantly to Benjamin the night he discovers and foils her escape attempt. But she won't let her attraction stand in the way of moving on with her life. She plots to steal a very expensive bottle of wine from Morris (in exchange for his years of duping her), and use the proceeds to begin a new life. Benjamin has a few plans of his own regarding Morris. Seems like everyone wants a piece of that scoundrel.
I enjoyed this book from page one. Reading along as Julia Tagan moved Catherine from the roll of victim to a place of strength made Catherine a heroine worth cheering for. And when she discovered love with Benjamin along the way added a delightful twist. Benjamin also grows within the story, and is extremely likable (okay, he's loveable). This book is exactly why I read romance.
Julia has captured the world of societal pecking order perfectly, and introduces us to a strong secondary cast I hope we'll get to see more of in the future. Catherine's sister, Sophie, and the only woman who befriended Catherine in New York, Theodosia, add interest and intrigue as Catherine struggles to overcome class discrimination and a conniving husband to find her true love.
This is Julia's debut novel, but you wouldn't know it. The writing is solid, lyrical and entertaining. She pulled me to the edge of my seat while waiting for Catherine and Benjamin to find their happily-ever-after. Just when you think things might be going well for Catherine, another delightful twist is added and tension escalates. A real page turner.
I give this book
5 well-deserved sunflowers
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.
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