My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Hodder
Pages - 475
Blurb from Goodreads
As they dazzle all the men at Queen Victoria's jubilee ball, Beth and Milly Goodwin seem to be mirror images of one another—beautiful, graceful and rich. They can take their pick of any man in St. Helens, but the only man in the room either of them wants is the one who could destroy both their lives.
Beth & Milly Goodwin are twins, beautiful and from a wealthy working class family set in the later 1800s, around the time when Emily Pankhurst was active with the suffragette movement. The girls capture the eye of Captain Hugh Thornley, sixteenth baron in his family line of noble blood, at the jubilee ball. Beth is pure, innocent, thoughtful and sweet, Milly is flighty, manipulative, forthright & very aware of her body and the effect it has on men. Both ladies fall for Thornley, only one will capture him, little knowing the devastation, hurt and horror that catching such a prize will bring.
Oh what a story, I am not normally one to pick a tale set in the past however this really caught my interest. In a time period where women have little rights and are thought of as the property of their husbands, some of the brutality the woman suffer in this book is at times quite hard to read. Thornley is a brute who will go to any lengths to dish out revenge to anyone he sees as has slighted him, the Goodwins are beneath him in his eyes as they are mere working class, he is a man of title. But what Hugh wants he gets and soon makes his move on one of the sisters which kicks off the heartache and horrors that follow.
This book covers many subjects and whilst being a tale of fiction, there are factual happenings dottered throughout, the protests and movements of the suffragettes, inequalities women faced during that time period, the attitudes and views of the different classes. It covers prostitution, infidelity, family bonds, violence, relationships and there is a fair few sex scenes throughout although nothing in extreme detail. This is my first time reading this author and I would certainly read her again. The characters go through a roller coaster of emotions, relationships are tested to the hilt and when I was sure I knew what was coming next, the author went in a completely different direction, 4/5 for me this time!