I’ve just finished the fourth novel in the series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, written by Nicola Pryce. The Cornish Lady was published through Corvus in March this year and it’s just as good as it’s predecessors.
In this book, we are introduced to Angelica Lilly, the young daughter of a Silas Lilly who is a successful merchant. She’s not only beautiful but well educated and has the world at her feet. It’s hoped that a marriage proposal will come shortly from Lord Dexter Entworth, a handsome widower who is an MP and local landowner. Angelica’s mother came from humble beginnings as an Irish actress, and her dying wish was for her children to be successful and marry well. But society can be mean to those not born into a wealthy lineage and Angelica often feels ill at ease with Cornish aristocracy.
The Cornish Lady sees Angelica worry that her father is going to remarry Lady Boswell, who she is sure is after his money and position. Her son, Sir Jacob Boswell has befriended Angelica’s younger brother Edgar and is leading him into bad habits and disreputable company.
The future is looking rather bleak when Edgar returns home, ill and clearly totally under Jacob’s control. At this point, we are introduced to Henry Trevelyan, her brother’s coachman, and you can tell that there is a connection between him and Angelica.
Set between Truro and Falmouth we follow Angelica and her family, as they interact with high society and see Angelica visit the world of theatre which was once home to her mother. A world she can only visit in disguise.
It soon becomes clear that Entworth might not be the wonderful catch that The Cornish Lady is led to believe and that perhaps her heart has already been captured by another.
When an Opium fuelled Edgar is arrested by none other than Trevelyan for being a highwayman, Angelica has to put her hidden acting skills to the test. She thinks that Trevelyan has betrayed her and her brother and is desperate to seek the truth.
The Cornish Lady is beautifully written, with lots of historical references and characters that you can really relate to. I found myself reading this book long into the night, wanting to expose the villains of the peace and for love to win through. It’s a great addition to the series and stands up well on its own too.
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