From the New York Times bestselling author of Firebird comes a richly detailed historical drama full of good Gothic romance, suspense and smartly dressed people.
As the daughter of a prosperous tailor in 1860’s London, Veda Grenfell has grown up accustomed to elegance and style. When a fever leaves her death at the age of sixteen, she turns for solace to the familiar world of her father’s workshop. Veda has inherited her father’s extraordinary talent, and she is not content to hide demurely in the back room whipping stitches. Defying Victorian notions of propriety, she establishes herself as a tailor to the young, fashionable sporting set of English nobility. Yet, beneath her impeccable dress and irreproachable manners beats a heart longing for the love of a man and a family of her own.
When an ambitious Italian tailor extends an offer of marriage, Veda’s keen intuition leads her to reject him, with disastrous consequences. Her situation is even more complicated by her growing attachment to Harry Breadalbane, a young viscount with a fascination for all things modern and a restless need to exert his energy on more than horse-racing and women.
As their complicity deepens, unsettling rumors begin to circulate about Harry’s family and his brutally powerful father, the reclusive Earl of Hambledon. When passion turns to betrayal, Veda abandons her beloved Savile Row and sets off on a treacherous journey to reclaim her rights – a journey that will bring her face to face with the darkly destructive forces that lurk at the depths of the human heart.
Graham’s elegant prose paints a deeply human portrait of a girl both willful and confused, vulnerable and yet fiercely courageous. The young narrator’s chronicle of her determination to seize for herself those dreams others try to deny her, render her character unforgettable and illuminate a world rarely imagined in literature.
“Graham is always and abundantly a good time…the sheer generosity of her invention, and her unfailing ability to create believable characters of every ilk, from the tepid to the grotesque, are nothing short of stunning.” – Kirkus Reviews
“… a rich dance of a novel with every ingredient of the popular romance.” – Philippa Gregory, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Constant Princess
“…a stunning novel about a complicated and beguiling young woman in desperate straits. Janice Graham leads the reader to dark places, and through the strength and talents of her heroine, reveals moments of almost unbearable yearning, truth, and beauty.” – Luanne Rice, author of the New York Times bestseller Dance With Me
“…engrossing…the redemptive ending will please fans of the genre.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“…a captivating novel that follows its unconventional heroine along a twisting path of Dickensian deceits, culminating in a suspenseful and surprising conclusion…. This is a book that grows in your heart and stays there for long after you’ve put it down.” – Carol Goodman, author of the national bestseller The Lake of Dead Languages