Pendle, Eve. Once a Fallen Lady. [United Kingdom]: Eve Pendle, 2020.
eBook | $0.99 USD | ASIN: B08193XDC7 | Historical Romance
I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Eve Pendle is a new-to-me author, but we have talked a bit on Twitter, and I was struck by the blurb of this book when I saw it, and how it stood out from a lot of what is being published in historical romance right now. While there are some familiar elements, they happen to be some of my favorite things: the cinnamon roll hero and the heroine “ruined” due to the double standards set by society, as well as its overwhelming class snobbery.
Alfred…what a dreamy hero. He’s a schoolteacher, while things between him and Lydia do start off on an awkward note, things develop in a wonderful way, with his feelings for her growing, while she’s more reluctant to fall in love, due to how she’s been hurt in the past. His tenderness toward her is wonderful, while also not pushing her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.
I truly felt for Lydia, and rooted for her, both as the circumstances that led to her present situation were revealed and observing her dedication to her daughter, who has polio. Writing the character of someone with a disability, as well as their caregiver, can be complicated, but I love that Pendle makes this story one of optimism, and a fairly good representation of a family where one of its members has a disability.
This novella is absolutely wonderful. Great characters with absolutely wonderful romantic arc, with depth and complexity in spite of its novella length. I recommend this to all lovers of historical romance.
Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2OfbIH1 (or read free with KU)