A Woman Entangled by Cecilia Grant - Fiction
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWS
An ambitious beauty seeking a spot among the elite is thwarted by a most disruptive gentleman in Cecilia Grant's witty, elegant, and exquisitely sensual novel.
Kate Westbrook has dreams far bigger than romance. Love won't get her into London's most consequential parties, nor prevent her sisters from being snubbed and looked down upon--all because their besotted father unadvisedly married an actress. But a noble husband for Kate would deliver a future most suited to the granddaughter of an earl. Armed with ingenuity, breathtaking beauty, and the help of an idle aunt with connections, Kate is poised to make her dreams come true. Unfortunately, a familiar face--albeit a maddeningly handsome one--appears bent on upsetting her scheme.
Implored by Kate's worried father to fend off the rogues eager to exploit his daughter's charms, Nick Blackshear has set aside the torch he's carried for Kate in order to do right by his friend. Anyway, she made quite clear that his feelings were not returned--though policing her won't abate Nick's desire. Reckless passion leads to love's awakening, but time is running out. Kate must see for herself that the charms of high society are nothing compared to the infinite sweet pleasures demanded by the heart.
Praise for A Woman Entangled
"In the third of her Blackshear family series, Grant tackles class distinction and complex family dynamics in a wonderful sensual romance and witty tale in the style of Jane Austen . . . Grant skillfully takes a shallow, immature heroine and develops her into a likable, admirable grown woman. Grant is a smart, innovative, clever writer."--RT Book Reviews
"Wielding a deliciously sharp wit that even Jane Austen would envy, Grant delivers yet another cleverly conceived and deftly choreographed Regency historical that is both lushly sensual and thoroughly romantic. Readers who have yet to discover Grant's impeccably written romances are in for a rare treat."--Booklist (starred review)
"An emotionally rich, sensually lush romance."--Kirkus Reviews
"Cecilia Grant is swiftly becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors, with her complex characters and thoughtful explorations of how their historical period shapes them. If you love multifaceted stories, definitely give her work a try!"--Heroes and Heartbreakers
"The writing and characterization is every bit as good as I've come to expect, and Ms. Grant's economic, restrained style works beautifully to allow the depth of emotion that bubbles under the surface throughout the story to speak for itself. There is no verbiage for the sake of it; this author pays her readers the huge compliment of trusting us with her material and letting us work things out for ourselves."--All About Romance
From the Paperback edition.
Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
London, February 1817
Discomfiture, for all that it felt like a constant companion, never failed to find new and inventive guises in which to appear.
"I'd like to take out A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the first volume." Her sister's voice soared into every corner of the lending library, all but rattling the bay window in whose alcove Kate had taken refuge. "I'm engaged at present in a work of my own that will build on Miss Wollstonecraft's foundation. Where she restricted herself to theory, however, and broad societal prescription, I address myself directly to the individual woman of today, arming her with practical methods by which she may begin even now to assert her rights."
She wouldn't speak of bodily emancipation in such a setting, would she? Kate held her breath. Surely even Viola had better sense than to--
"In particular I introduce the idea that women will never achieve true emancipation until we have absolute governance of our own persons, within marriage as well as without."
A stout young man, sitting at the long table nearest Kate's alcove, looked up sharply from his book. An elderly woman seated on the opposite side of the room did the same. So, no doubt, did every peacefully read- ing patron in this establishment. Vi's was a voice that commanded attention, all crisp consonants and breath support, exactly the voice you'd expect from the granddaughter of an earl.
Or the daughter of an actress.
The young man's table was scattered with volumes, all perused and discarded by patrons who hadn't bothered to return them to the desk. Kate swiped one up and bent her head over a random page, to avoid meeting anyone's eyes. To Elizabeth it appeared that had her family made an agreement to expose themselves as much as they could during the evening, it would have been impossible for them to play their parts with more spirit or finer success . . .
Pride and Prejudice. That single line was enough to set Kate's bones vibrating like a struck tuning fork. Surely it had been written for her, this tale of a young woman struggling under the incessant mortifications thrust upon her by a family that did not know the meaning of discretion.
She turned a page. No more sound from the library's other end; the clerk must have gone to fetch the requested volume, and to escape any more discussion of practical methods for asserting a woman's rights. In the book, meanwhile, the party at Netherfield dragged dismally on, plaguing Elizabeth with the disagreeable attentions of Mr. Collins and the cold silence of the Bingley sisters and Mr. Darcy.
Of course Mr. Darcy had already begun to take note of Elizabeth's fine eyes by this point in the story, and Mr. Bingley was so smitten with Jane that he never noticed half the graceless things the Bennet family did. Could there really be such men in the world? And if so, where did they reside?
"There you are." Viola stood at the other side of the book-scattered table, Vindication volume in hand, peering at her through those plain glass spectacles she always insisted on wearing in public. "Are you ready to go?"
The stout man glanced up again, no doubt recognizing Vi's voice. He sent a quick look from one lady to the other, piecing together their relation.
And then he saw Kate, properly. Though he'd been sitting no great distance away, a mere half turn of his head necessary to bring her into view, his eyes apparently had not landed on her until now.
A dozen or more variations she'd seen of this response, on too many occasions to count. Some men managed it without looking witless. Most, unfortunately, did not.
The man's features stalled, then...
A Woman Entangled
By: Cecilia Grant