England, mid seventeenth century. When young Sarah finds out that innkeeper Amos Jennings is not her father, she feels uncertain and scared. Her problems grow bigger when she starts a job as housekeeper and gets involved with two men who both want her love: the earl of Linfield, and his younger brother Richard. To escape these problems, Sarah takes off to London to begin a new life as actress at His Majesty’s Theatre.
Richard cannot forget the young woman he met at his brother’s. He is determined to find Sarah and make her his own--even his wife, despite what his family thinks of it. But love never comes easy. Richard and Sarah will have to face many a storm--even the Great Fire of London--before they can become one.
From the quiet countryside to the glamorous excitement of London and abroad it's easy to get caught up in the emotionally tumultuous life of beautiful and naive Sarah as her journey progresses from one heart wrenching event to the next. The reader gets swept along in this larger than life emotional saga seamlessly incorporating real life historical events that add to the drama. And just when you think Sarah has found happiness fate intervenes to put us back on the emotional roller coaster.
There was much to like and recommend about this book as well as a few things that took away from some of my enjoyment. Sarah was at times brave and yet immensely naive. She wasn't afraid to start over on her own time and again with fate always helping her land on her feet. If she only would've truly listened and not constantly jumped to conclusions I would've been less exasperated with her. She's a larger than life character and everyone is drawn to her for better or worse and as the story progressed her maturity became apparent. By the end of the story she evolved into what her lineage always guaranteed. There were many men in the story worthy of Sarah's love, thus it's with great disappointment that Richard won her heart. His character never won me over as I found him callous and arrogant at the start of the story and didn't see much change by the end. His admission of love rang hollow when paired with his constant raging jealousy.
What worked perfectly for me were the colorful secondary characters, and some real life historical figures, that aided Sarah every step of the way. Each one was distinctive and added much to the storyline. The glitz and excitement of London and the other scenic locales were vividly drawn and helped immerse the reader in the roller coaster events of Sarah's life.
All in all this is an unforgettable story with its sweeping storyline. Though the main couple didn't always work for me, I can't deny that I was fully immersed in their story and recommend it to fans of emotionally draining historical sagas.
My rating for this is a C+
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.