My rating: 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Because she's a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she's determined to marry well, so she'll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he's taken by Susanna's intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.
When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.
What a fabulous book that is rich in historical detail, compelling characters, suspense and romance! The emotions of the characters were portrayed in a way that made it easy to connect with them and their struggles, and I loved that Susanna and Ben brought out the best in each other. Susanna was facing dilemmas on several fronts- her relationship with her mother, political controversies, sacrificing love for wealth, law versus compassion, and the undeniable chemistry she has with Ben. The mystery of the murdered young women adds an element of suspense that kept me reading straight through until I was done. It was satisfying to see Susanna's perspectives and opinions develop as her eyes are opened up to the world outside her household and her discovery that making the right choice doesn't always have easy consequences, but it is worth it. I'm looking forward to reading more by the author!
(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)