bluestocking - Down the Docks and up the Chimney The Brazen Bluestocking
The Duchess Society Series, Book One
Tracy Sumner
Fiction, Historical, Regency
WOLF Publishing
Pub Date 30 Sep 2021

In this Regency romance by award-winning author Tracy Sumner, a willful bluestocking matches wits with a devilish scoundrel she never expected to desire with every beat of her heart. A defiant society outcast. A forbidding rogue who doesn’t believe in love. And a passionate wager. Daughter of an earl, Lady Hildegard Templeton hasn’t conformed to what society expects from a woman of her station. Industrious and unique, she’s created an emboldened organization for women on the cusp of marriage, The Duchess Society. Called a bluestocking to her face and worse behind closed salon doors, she vows to marry for love. And nothing but. Although the emotion has never shown itself to her. Until she meets him. Bastard son of a viscount and king of London’s sordid streets, Tobias Streeter has spent a lifetime building his empire, and he needs the Duchess Society to find a suitable wife. An asset to expand his worth in society’s eyes. But he vows his search will have nothing to do with love and everything to do with vengeance. Until he meets her. Soon, Tobias and Hildy’s plans are in turmoil as they choose between expectation, passion, and love.

This book continues the theme from another series of the Duchess Club, whereupon young women are taught the skills that they need to become a Duchess, that are not taught at home. The skills are added to by the Club undertaking investigations into the proposed partners, especially the husband-to-be; negotiating a satisfactory contract that enables the women involved to have an independent life is they wish; ensuring that the women are prepared for marital ‘relations’ and wish for them to occur; and other elements of marriage as needed.

This is the first book of the new series and is very encouraging.

It is of a good length such that the story and characters can be explored in enough depth; and the storyline can have numerous sub-plots and information about Society and Trade in the era.

Here we read about the trade of Chimney Sweep boys and the attempts to regulate it and swap young boys for mechanical devices. the way that this was argued against and the way the young boys were treated – we also find our something about the Tarring sheds for rope to be used on sheds. So quite a lot about how young children were employed in industry.

sweep - Down the Docks and up the Chimney

I always think that exploring these elements of the Society at the time of the storyline adds to the understanding of the background to the characters and the world that they inhabit.

Tracy always has a good style and her novels are well written.

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