“A Heart’s Rebellion” by Ruth Axtel is a novel set in the Regency period in England. It is the story of Jessamine Barry, the daughter of a vicar, who is sent to London for the season. Her parents want her to find a husband so she and her friend Megan are placed in the care of an Lady Bess, a member of the upper crust who will be able to provide access to the glittering ballrooms of London during the season.
Jessamine is trying to overcome her broken heart after Rees Phillips, Megan’s brother, decides to marry another. She has pined for him since she was thirteen years old and cannot forget her feelings so easily. Jessamine and Megan are not overly besieged by suitors, so Jessamine decides to reinvent herself – new hairdo, new clothes, and a new outlook.
Lancelot Marfleet has just returned from India where he has been serving as a missionary. His bout with illness forced him to return to England. He is drawn to Jessamine when he first saw her, but she rebukes him mainly because he is a vicar. She wants more than what her father provided for his family. The story continues with the activities of the ton and the way Jessamine is drawn into some of the more unsavory activities in which the eligible young men of the time engage.
I think Ms. Axtel provided a very realistic view of Regency England in a time when good marriages were arranged by the families of the young people.
I received free print copy of this book from Revell in return for my honest review.