Aurelie Harcourt grew up in a debtor's prison with her father, and spending most of her time among the other prisoners. Aurelie has a vivid imagination and loves to share her stories with the children. When her father dies he leaves her the unfinished story of her mother's disappearance, and a wealthy family that wants nothing to do with her. As Aurelie navigates her new life she takes up her father's pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and sets out to finish his last novel.
When Silas Rotherham comes to pick up the late Woolf Harcourt's belongings, he is surprised to find a girl waiting for him. He is intrigued by her story and her thoughtful answers to his simple questions.
Will Aurelie be able to solve the mystery of her mother?
Silas becomes Aurelie's rescuer, guiding her through the maze of high society rules, he enjoys her stories and encourages her to be herself. I like how Silas respects Aurelie's past, and how she doesn't fit into the world of the wealthy. Silas also happens to be courting Juliette, Aurelie's newfound cousin.
Juliette welcomes Aurelie, and takes her under her wing, accepting her into her family almost immediately. Aurelie also finds a friend in the seamstress, Nelle.
Aurelie writes her stories from the heart and draws on her experiences in the debtor's prison and her new life, but as she writes the family begins to believe that Nathaniel Droll is spying on them. As imposters show up claiming to be Nathaniel, Aurelie has a line to walk, discrediting the imposters while keeping her identity a secret.
I loved the book from beginning to end, it is by far one of the best regency books that I have read, I was stunned that this was debut novel. Full of mystery, romance, secrets, and a full cast of intriguing characters. I loved the quick wit and engaging style of this writing. It was impossible to put down, ful of poignancy, surprises and romance. Highly recommend! Stunning read!
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