Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Lyrical Press on January 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Author, Netgalley
The lady’s maid meets her match…Wenna Chenoweth’s future is secure, until dashing Devon Courtney’s illicit flirtation gets her dismissed from her job as a lady’s maid. With nowhere to turn, Wenna is forced to accept Devon’s bold proposal: To be his bride. To enter society on the handsome aristocrat’s arm. To give him the heir he requires. It’s a foolproof plan. Except Wenna finds herself falling hard for a man who can never love her for who she is….
Wenna is passionate, mysterious, and ill-suited to the idle life of a society wife. She’s also exactly the kind of woman who could endanger Devon’s hopes to build his own future far from his family’s influence. For the spirited beauty has embarked on an unthinkable plan of her own—one that could lead him to surrender his resolve, and sacrifice everything he believes he holds dear….
Yet amid the wondrous landscape of colonial South Australia, anything is possible. Perhaps even love between two people the boundaries of society would keep apart….
Wenna (South Landers #4)
By Virginia Taylor
The red-haired hussy strikes again…
I find it extremely funny that in a lot of historical romances a red-headed lady is considered a hussy, fast or loose. I can honestly say that when I look at a lady with red hair, hussy is not my first thought. Maybe it’s because the first person I think of with red hair is Anne…of Green Gables. She is the LAST person I would think of as fast or loose. Wenna, the redhead in this story is not a hussy but she does have a trait that seems to be attached to the colour of her hair…fiery. In temper and attitude.
Wenna is a hard-working lady’s maid. She has been in service since she was 13 years old, the age when her mother died. Wenna has worked her way up through the ranks but she doesn’t plan to stay a servant forever. She has plans, big ones. With the higher income afforded to a lady’s maid position, she hopes to save up enough to go into business for herself while also sending money to her Grandparents in Cornwall. Things are going well until the day her employer hosts a cricket match…and catches one of the player’s eye. It seems the smooth-talking gentleman has a thing for red heads.
Devon is a man on a mission. Actually, he’s got a few missions on his plate but the latest one involves bedding the flame-haired miss who had the nerve to talk back to him. For Devon, this is extremely refreshing. Most women of his acquaintance know that he’s the son of an Earl, an eligible bachelor, and, if he doesn’t mind saying so himself, fairly attractive. Not meaning to, he accidentally gets the woman he’s attracted to, fired from her job. Feeling a tad guilty, and seeing a plan (that will work in his favour) form in his mind, he takes the opportunity to help her out…by offering her marriage.
Wenna is not a silly woman and she’s hesitant to believe this gentleman wants anything more than a tumble. Devon knows his fiery miss won’t just settle for some sweet words to get what he wants. Maybe it’s time to arrange a deal.
For Wenna and Devon, things are not easy or straightforward. Wenna doesn’t know a lot about Devon but what she sees makes her frustrated. He doesn’t seem to have a purpose and spends money frivolously. Devon knows that Wenna started their relationship with a plan to keep things businesslike but the longer they are together, the more he starts to feel for her. They also have to tackle the questions of why a gentleman would marry a maid…and a red-haired hussy to boot.
I loved that Virginia Taylor has given us a glimpse into the past and what it took to get a little town started in the Australian outback. The social classes seemed a little different too. It was explained that titles, while important, didn’t hold as much weight as they do in England. In Australia, if you were a hard worker and could make your fortune by coming up with new ideas and practices, you held as high a place in society. We are also given a little glimpse of what a working woman faced if she decided to open a business of her own. All of these things fascinated me.
I really enjoyed Wenna. There were times that I thought their lack of communication was a little too drawn out and caused unnecessary drama. I had my married-lady hat on and I wanted to shake my finger at Wenna and Devon to lecture them on the importance of communication in a relationship. Luckily for them, they worked it out in the end.
Wenna was another great instalment to this series. I will definitely be keen to read more in the future.