- Abusive/toxic past relationship discussed
- Trauma/anxiety due to abusive/toxic relationships
- Death of a parent
A few years ago I heard about this book while listening to The Heaving Bosoms Podcast. As I was looking for books to read, for Pride, this one popped up in my recommends and I thought it was long past time I read it. I will say, I struggled to read the mass market copy, the words are so tiny it was messing with my ability to concentrate. After attempting a few chapters I finally gave in and used the Libby app to check out a digital copy from my local library. Being able to read bigger font was just what I needed.
Do you ever find characters that deeply irritate you and then realize it’s their similarities to you that you actually find irritating? Catherine, the Countess, is deeply insecure about her place in the world and lacks pride in her own talents. It took me two thirds of the book to realize my biggest issue with her was she reminded me of myself. So many random insecure thoughts that Catherine would have…I found myself wanting to shake her and say STOP YOU’RE CREATING DOUBT WHERE IT DIDN’T ALREADY EXIST! All the while flashing back on my own moments of doubt and weakness…creating issues where none originally existed.
Many who read this book may not realize it but Catherine’s ex-husband caused her trauma. I grew up around someone who could go from happy to irate in seconds…someone you constantly needed to study to see if you were safe or if their mood would soon turn. Catherine is used to having to be vigilant in her observations to ensure she could keep her ex-husband’s outbursts aimed only towards her and not towards the servants or anyone else. Having to constantly deal with someone like that takes a toll on you…and it makes it hard to see that not everyone is like that.
I do appreciate that although Catherine has deeply insecure thought’s, due to her past, she never really attacks or accuses Lucy outwardly. Catherine seems to understand that these issues could just be her own so instead of constantly lashing out at Lucy she tries to keep her thoughts, and insecurities, to herself.
Overall I really enjoyed the story of Lucy and Catherine. Not only do we get a sweet love story but we also get two strong and talented women who cheer each other on and show the other they do have talent and worth. I look forward to reading more of Olivia Waite’s historical romances!