hrts_ar_trmpsby Elizabeth Hawksley writing as Rachel Summerson

George felt an urge to take her by the neck and shake and shake her until she hung limp and broken. Instead, he took a step closer and said, in a voice whose fury even Flora could not mistake, ‘I suppose you think that your wretched family, who come from the dregs of society, are to be counted on equal terms with mine!’

Flora spun round to face him. ‘Yes, I do. But I am making no claims for my family and no apologies either. It is you who are making false pretensions for yours!’

1863. Flora Peat, aged 27, plain, intelligent and unmarried, is, in her mother’s opinion, on the shelf. But the Fates have other ideas. Flora meets Sir George Kingsley, a man she rapidly decides is snobbish, arrogant and over-bearing. For his part, George thinks Flora is far too clever and forthright for a lady …

Then there are Flora’s sisters: Adeline, living only for Good Works and God, hopes to marry the ambitious Dr Charles Woodcock. But will this virginal Victorian lady find marriage the elevating sacrament she expects? For the spoilt, beautiful Blanche, the prospect of marriage glitters as she embarks on the capture of an illustrious and – if possible – dashing husband.

Hearts are Trumps is a well-made tale based on character study and …very well done. Margaret Forster in Books and Bookmen

Published in USA as Belgrave Square

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