ROMANCE

Fair as a Star

Perfectly Proper. (Victorian Romantics, Bk. 1). Jul. 2020. 202p. ISBN 9781733056977. pap. $8.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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Beryl Burnham dreads returning to the village of Shepton Worthy and her impending marriage to the somber but wealthy Henry Rivenhall after a yearlong reprieve in Paris. Unfortunately, Beryl’s depression returns full force now that she’s home, and the only person willing to support her without question is Mark Rivenhall, Henry’s younger brother and the local curate. Mark has loved Beryl for years, but owing to her engagement has vowed to keep his feelings secret. Seeing Beryl blame herself for her melancholy, he tries to find ways to help her manage her sadness, rejecting the widely recognized but barbaric medical solutions of the day, which Henry clearly endorses. When Henry’s insensitivity toward Beryl’s depression becomes clear, Beryl realizes she must make a choice between a safe but miserable future with Henry and a less predictable life with Mark, who accepts her unconditionally.
VERDICT From the best-selling author of the “Paris Orphans of Devon” series comes a compassionate treatment of a heroine with a condition not commonly addressed in the historical romance subgenre. This, combined with Mark’s romantic gestures toward Beryl, results in a kindhearted love story that will delight anyone who longs to be loved without limits. Highly recommended.

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