Regency romance is a category that lends itself to a wide range of scenarios which make an excellent basis for a really good story to be contrived. Jill E. Warner has taken the thread of racism and bigotry, rife in British Society and bound it into a story of romance of the most gentle.
We find our heroine, Anna Beasley, in a new household where she has been asked to help out with a forthcoming house party, placing her in a rather invidious position. While she is the Governess for the two daughters, she is of mixed parentage; an Indian father serving in the British Military and English Mother – the daughter of a Viscount.
Her darker complexion and almond shaped eyes see her the target of racism even within her own family, which is bought into perspective when her Cousin and Aunt unexpectedly arrive at the House party as invited guests. Charlotte St Clair is now engaged to Percival Thraxton, bother of William, whom Anna had met previously in a somewhat embarrassing manner. Embarrassing for William, as his horse had thrown shoe. In a series of most unfortunate events William had become mired in mud.
As the day’s pass Anna finds herself enjoying William’s company more than she should, but is subjected to insulting and disparaging behaviour from the other guests, as well as her cousin. When a terrible accident occurs Anna decides it is time to move to a new position.
Anna realises that things will only get worse not better, and she has fallen in love with William who it would seem feels strongly for her, but what to do? When an opportunity is presented to return to India, she considers this as possibly a far better alternative to remaining in England.
Well-constructed, the storyline is strong, even though at times Warner labours the point, it sets a vastly different scene to the usual style of Regency/Victorian romance. Anna is a very strong character who shoulders the burden of racism well, William is a man, whom like Anna has to decide the road he will take for his future.
Of Jasmine and Roses is a most enjoyable read with different aspect of Society used to create an authentic, historic base.
|Author||Jill E. Warner|