I love reading but I haven’t read a historical romance novel for absolutely ages. That all changed at the back-end of last year when I was asked to look at The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein. The paperback book was published through Wallace Publishing in 2018 and I can thoroughly recommend it.
Set between medieval England and Calais, The Draughtsman Damsel tells the story of young Lady Annabelle Latimer as she struggles to find our place in a society where women are seen but not really heard.
Her father, Lord Latimer is a counsellor and architect to the Duke of Calais and Annabelle is very close to his youngest son Thomas. We first meet the family when Annabelle is ten years of age, she is a bright young lady, who wants to learn about maths and science and has no interest in the concept of learning to become a lady at court. She dreams of being free to make her own choices and of one day marrying Thomas.
But when the family is recalled to the English court by the King Richard, Annabelle has to say farewell to everything she has known and to her beloved Thomas. She knows that her life will change as she will have to conform to the courts expectations of how a young woman should behave and what they should learn. Her father has his own problems, as the Duke of Calais and the King are enemies, and he has to try and keep in favour with both.
As Annabelle grows up, her parents believe it to be in her best interests to find a husband and a series of suitors are presented. In her heart she still loves Thomas and doubts that any man will be a match for him, but she tries to see each man in the best light. All does not go well with those suggested and she is left without a match when her father is called back to Calais. He takes his daughter with him, and they both discover that the Duke’s mental health has deteriorated.
Lord Latimer is called upon to create the castle of the Duke’s dreams and Annabelle finds out that Thomas’s affections may now be with another. Will her dreams of being with him now finally be shattered?
The Draughtsman Damsel is a thoroughly enjoyable story, and a great first introduction to this author. I found the various characters believable and felt Annabelle’s frustrations at living in a time where women weren’t allowed to have brains and ask questions. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and have included my Amazon Affiliate link below in case you’d like to read this book for yourself.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review