Do you love low stakes diverse regency romances? Then don’t even read this review. You will love this book.
Plot: Patience, the daughter of a very powerful plantation owner (black run, no slavery), was swept off her feet by a British aristocrat with a money problem. Arriving in England, she was promptly sequestered in a country home and left to rot while her new husband ran up bills at various gambling establishments and the like. And then he died. Now, his nefarious uncle is trying to get his hands on a series of payments her father had committed to paying upon the birth of a son and his 4 month birthday. Since Patience has a baby boy, all he needs to do is get her out of the picture and keep the kid alive a couple of months. So he has her committed to Bedlam. Fortunately, she is able to escape, and even pop in for visits in disguise to check on her son while staying with a woman nearby who runs a secret society for the support of widows. Soon thereafter, her late husband’s brother, a celebrated veteran and known Good Guy who lost a leg for King and Country, shows up with every intention of setting everything to rights. Of course, evil uncles being what they are, it’s entirely possible that the Busick won’t believe a woman who was imprisoned in Bedlam and then disappeared over a member of the family, so Patience pretends to be a wet nurse and is hired on to take care of her own son while searching the house for the trust documents that would allow her access to the funds she needs to return to her home back in the West Indies. Shenanigans ensue.
This plot might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. This book is low angst, with most of the time being spent with Patience and Busick getting to know each other and playing house. Periodically, the evil uncle pops in to keep things interesting, but this is not a book of twists and turns. This is a book of sweet nothings and folks with hard lives getting their happy endings.
If audiobooks are your thing, the narration by Bahni Turpin is wonderfully done. Some reviewers who read the physical book mentioned struggling with changes in POV, but this was not at all the case for the audio.
Content warning: discussion of suicide and the person who died by it, child abuse, very oblique allusions to violence that was likely at least in part sexual.