Sally MacKenzie tackles a serious subject matter with compassion and entertains as well in this beautiful historical romance. Penelope Barnes and Harry Graham are an engaging couple and their circumstances near heartbreaking. I cannot tell you how many tears I cried over the near impossibility of their happily ever after. The ingenuity of the women Penelope works with is just amazing, so resourceful and forward thinking and yet utterly believable. I adored Harriet, her joy of life, her maturity, she was just so heart warming. Watching her parents interact with her revealed so much about them and their feelings. This was an emotional journey for the characters but also for me as the reader. I cried at the thought of the unfairness of their situation and their social strictures. I cursed Penelope’s stubbornness and Harry’s determination to live the life he felt he was destined to.
If you like your historicals with heart, heat, stunning settings, and scintillating situations this is definitely one to read.
The Story: Penelope Barnes is making the best of the situation she has found herself in but she would never regret her first love or the daughter he gave her. After all a farmers daughter can never marry an earl’s son. When Harry finds himself investigating a home for fallen women he is surprised to find his first love and even more surprised to find the daughter he never knew he had. Can there ever be a future for them?
Scandal does not define the “fallen” ladies of Puddledon Manor’s Benevolent Home. Instead, it’s a recipe for an intoxicating new future as the women combine their talents—to operate their own brewery and alehouse . . .
When Penelope Barnes arrived at the Home with her young daughter, she discovered a knack for horticulture—and for cultivating the hops needed to produce a superlative pint. She put her scandalous affair with Harry Graham firmly in the past, along with the wrenching pain she felt when he went off to war. After all, she’d always known a farmer’s daughter had no future with an earl’s son. Now she has the pleasant memory of their passion, and she has little Harriet, for whom she would do anything—even marry a boring country vicar . . .
Harry went off to fight for the Crown unaware that his delightful interlude with his childhood friend had permanent consequences. Now he’s back in England, catapulted into the title by his brother’s untimely death. He sorely misses his former life of unfettered adventure, so when he has reason to explore Little Puddledon, he jumps at the chance. But what he finds there is something—and someone—he never knew he’d lost, and a once forbidden love whose time has come, if only he can persuade Pen he’s home to stay . . .