Genre: Historical romance (England, late 19th century)
Subgenre: clean read, secular
Author: Suzanne G. Rogers, @suzannegrogers
One of the things I love about Kindle Unlimited is that I get the chance to read authors I’ve never tried before, pretty much risk-free. The latest on my ever-growing reading pile is Spinster by Suzanne G. Rogers.
This one starts out a tad rough. Although, I am the first one to toss a poorly written book aside, so it’s not THAT rough! Just bear with me a moment.
It has a very appealing premise, but the characters seem a bit touchy. I can understand the younger ones. As a parent of teenagers, that seems realistic. But, even the older ones snap at each other a bit more than seems warranted.
The other challenge is the heroine, Claire, who seems awfully capable given her upbringing. She hurls legalese with ease at her neighbor. Only later in the book do we learn that her father is a noted barrister. But, given the way she argues her point, you might have thought she was, too.
She’s also a quick learner. Once on her own, she seems to just know how to cook, including what ingredients she needs to buy to bake things, even though she’s probably always had servants to do that sort of thing. She has one minor disaster with a loaf of bread, and then everything is smooth sailing. She does have a cookbook of sorts, but still…I’ve been baking for forty years or more, and I often have disasters, minor and major, even though I have modern conveniences such as a mixer and an electric oven.
Now that I got that out of the way, this is a lovely read. It is clean. There is some kissing and a touch of innuendo. (Probably far less than in the average high school hallway, though.) Meriweather (Meri) and Claire are both likable characters, and the animosity between them is understandable. Their relationship progresses at a nice even pace, and nothing seems contrived.
Aside from the teenaged angst, the secondary characters are also likable, especially Meri’s guardian-turned-butler, Franklin. Their relationship has an Alfred/Batman feel about it, and I enjoyed their interaction immensely.
The book takes a turn toward a mystery at the end. It would have been nice to weave that in more at the beginning of the story, but it’s not totally out of the blue and is a nice way to conclude the story.
Favorite line: “Society considers me a spinster, too.” Claire sat next to her [housekeeper] on the stairs. “I’m beginning to wonder, however, if spinsterhood is more about how we view ourselves rather than how others view us.”
Ms. Rogers is a prolific writer, so if you enjoy her work, you will have plenty to read. Just scanning through some of her books, it looks like many of them are also available on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re thinking of springing for a membership, having a good author you can turn to time and again, makes it that much more worthwhile.