The lady’s maid meets her match…
Wenna Chenoweth’s future is secure, until dashing Devon Courtney’s illicit flirtation gets her dismissed from her job as a lady’s maid. With nowhere to turn, Wenna is forced to accept Devon’s bold proposal: To be his bride. To enter society on the handsome aristocrat’s arm. To give him the heir he requires. It’s a foolproof plan. Except Wenna finds herself falling hard for a man who can never love her for who she is….
Wenna is passionate, mysterious, and ill-suited to the idle life of a society wife. She’s also exactly the kind of woman who could endanger Devon’s hopes to build his own future far from his family’s influence. For the spirited beauty has embarked on an unthinkable plan of her own—one that could lead him to surrender his resolve, and sacrifice everything he believes he holds dear….
Yet amid the wondrous landscape of colonial South Australia, anything is possible. Perhaps even love between two people the boundaries of society would keep apart….
I have long been a fan of Australian historical fiction set in the colonial era. I particularly enjoy those novels which examine the social history of our country’s early days, the stuggle between old country manners and new world ideas and the development of a national identity where anyone, man or woman, can get ahead if they are willing to work hard. Virginia Taylor captures this perfectly within the pages of Wenna, a truly enjoyable novel.
Wenna herself is a worthy heroine, ambitious and honourable, if not a little quick to jump to the wrong conclusions, but she is a model of what colonial Australia was built upon. It didn’t matter what her social status was, she made her mark through her own ambitions and this also applied to Devon, but in the opposite manner. Raised with a degree entitlement, colonial Australia allowed him to build a life on his own terms rather than those dictated to him by the laws of an old world society.
There was a good deal of humour within this novel that was greatly appreciated. The banter and wit between Wenna and Devon made their match a most enjoyable one. Beset with misunderstanding and a distinct lack of communication, the two went around each other in circles for quite some time, but there was enough going on within the story for this to not become tiresome.
With a cast of colourful characters and an engaging storyline, I was sorry to reach the end of this novel. I would love to read more about Wenna and Devon as they continue on with their lives together, raising a family in their new home.
Wenna is book 4 in the South Landers series by Virginia Taylor.
Thanks is extended to the publisher Lyrical Press for making a copy of Wenna available for review via Netgalley.
Wenna is book 4 in my 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge and was read in January this year. This review has previously been published to Goodreads and Facebook, but appears here on the blog for the first time.