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A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost? Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance. But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.
Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a fascinating consuming story about one young woman’s life during the Gilded Age at the time of the women’s suffrage movement. Penelope Stanton’s father suddenly loses his fortune, her fiancé unexpectedly breaks off their engagement and her domineering mother charges her to find a fitting and wealthy husband. Then Penelope meets the charming and irresistible Edgar Daggers. He is a wealthy married man, a womanizer and a benefactor who offers Penelope to become his mistress. She finds it hard to resist his advances toward her, but holds her ground, at least for the time being. Instead, she runs off with her best friend to Boston where she joins the women’s Suffrage movement. She quickly becomes a leader in the movement and her life becomes interesting, complicated and full of intrigue. While fighting for the rights of women, Penelope finds herself constantly fighting off the advances of Mr. Daggers. Will she give way to his seductive charms (and her lust) and become his mistress? You must buy this exceptional book to find out.
Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a must read, historical romance story set in the Victorian era. It puts focus on the women’s Suffrage movement and the societal and political elements that went into the organization that was set up to give women the right to vote. It is filled with historical details and facts about the panic of 1893, the Gilded Age and the Suffrage movement itself. The details of the time are beautifully written and brought to life.
The romance in this story is filled with desire, lust and tension. There are twists and turns around every corner and I couldn’t put this book down. I was hooked from the very first chapter, as I turned the pages quickly to the very last satisfying page. There is so much to this story, with so much going on. Readers will revel in the unexpected plot twists and be delighted to read about the various things Penelope gets into and does. She goes from being a young naive girl and then evolves into a strong capable woman and certainly comes into her own.
The characters in Mistress Suffragette are realistic, believable and very interesting. Author Diana Forbes has created characters that readers will soon not forget. They are very well developed and fully fleshed out. She introduces some really appealing and absorbing personalities that I completely connected with and was absorbed in. Readers will revel in them and their activities, professions and actions.
The storyline and plot is well written, full and thought out. It flows nice and is easy to read. Forbes genuinely has a creative mind as well as an intelligent one. Her writing is exemplary and one would never know this is a debut novel. It has won many awards and recognitions. Her descriptive writing has brought to life an exquisite era and time in history. My senses were fully engaged and I felt like I was on the scene watching on as the story unfolded and became real to me. It is a completely engaging, captivating and compelling historical fiction book. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Mistress Suffragette to all discerning readers.
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