‘A true lady would have found a way to extricate herself gently.
But I am not a lady. I am me. Jane Bailey. Serving maid.’
To wedded Lady?
Lady’s maid Jane Bailey’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of wealthy gentleman Robert Kendal. He’s come to take Jane to visit her long-lost, aristocratic grandfather. Travelling together, they succumb to a mutual attraction. Yet Jane knows a maid should not hope to love a gentleman, even if she’s suddenly wearing silk dresses and dining with the Family. Society decrees they cannot marry, but how long can Jane deny her heart?
Hi everyone, welcome to the third, and penultimate review of my final four blog tours. This time it’s for the wonderful Rags to Riches Wife by the equally wonderful Catherine Tinley.
Jane Bailey is a lady’s maid, daughter of a marriage between a servant and an aristocrat whose family disowned him. Jane is happy, she knows her place, but then a summons from her estranged grandfather catapults her into the world of the elite she serves.
Robert Kendal is the man chosen to bring Jane to meet her grandfather. He’s not expecting her to be a servant, so it comes as a bit of a shock when he finally meets her.
Jane and Robert are perfect for each other. During the journey, they become friends which helps put Jane at her ease, but a spark of attraction also flares up, which both of them will have to deal with. The internal conflict this chemistry causes in Jane is particularly hard. She knows how some men of the elite classes treat their female servants, the ostracisation of her parents hurt deeper than she knows, but above all, she’s perfectly happy and fulfilled as a lady’s maid. She doesn’t want to ‘move up in the world’.
This is an extremely poignant, and romantic story. Ms Tinley has captured the ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ society so well. Jane’s insecurities and courage are realistically and empathetically portrayed, while the snobbish attitudes towards servants and those of a lower class are totally believable. It’s full of emotional conflict, external opposition, and forbidden love. Yet it’s slow, and gentle, a true Cinderella romance which tugs at your heartstrings. You’ll need tissues for this one!
Catherine Tinley is an award winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.