Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.
Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow's unrelenting waves of grief.
The start of "Love's Sorrow" reminded me of a Jane Austen novel, with the strict rules that governed the society of the day. Anne Tearle was an orphan and had been taken in by her Uncle Edward and his family. From there her life was much like that of a Cinderella, with her Aunt Martha treating her more like a slave than a relative. Why was (is?) it that orphans were treated as social pariahs simply because they had had the misfortune of losing both their parents?
At the right age, she is offered 'employment' by a London branch of the family. Anne arrives, assuming that besides caring for the children, she will be having other domestic duties and is somewhat perplexed that she is being treated more like one of the family. And the young ladies of London society and their mothers are not happy with her arrival, as Anne is sweet natured and beautiful and rather quickly drew the attention of one of the city's most eligible bachelors, Gavin MacKay.
Gavin is amused by Anne's lack of sophistication (as compared to the other young ladies of that circle) and rather quickly sets his sights on her. He figures she will be a good, healthy woman to bear his children. All seems to be going well. He is *ahem* quite amorous in his attentions to his new bride. Unfortunately, two miscarriages are followed by a live birth, only to have Anne and Gavin's son die a few days after being born. The relationship chills, to put it mildly. In all fairness, more than a few marriages fall apart at the inability to conceive and bear children, especially in such heartbreaking circumstances.
Am I the only one who drew a comparison here between the characters in this book and the situation with Prince Charles and Diana Spencer? A courtship was engineered between a rich and powerful man and a young woman 'without a past' that would make an acceptable wife and mother. In one case, once 'the heir and a spare' was born, the marriage (which apparently was just a sham) fell apart. In the other, failure to produce an heir made people choose actions that caused the failure of the marriage. One man eventually married the girlfriend he had before he met his wife; the other was found in a compromising situation with an old girlfriend, which became the nail in the coffin of his marriage.
There were quite a few 'heated' moments in "Love's Sorrow", but presented in such a way that they were much more tantalizing than words and images of a more blatant nature. I don't search out erotica by any means, but for me, when literary physical intimacy does not read like a set of construction plans, with measurements, colloquialisms for parts of the body/drawings, it is much more enticing.
As I approached the end of "Love's Sorrow", I knew the story could not be 'over'. (Thank goodness its subtitle is "Means of Mercy #1, so that we know there will be at least one sequel.) There is a superb twist at the end ... well, that you just have to read for yourself! ;)
"Love's Sorrow" is not an artificially sweet book - thank goodness; neither is life. Nor is it so full of heat that it is liable to cause you to fan yourself with the book when you need to take a break. So what is it? It is a seriously wonderful start to a series I am going to follow like a hawk. Luckily, I do know that Means of Mercy #2 (Love's Revenge) is due out in November 2014!
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.
(Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author and Roane Publishing in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.)