For those, like me, who enjoyed Lady Julia Grey you will be happy to know that there is a series that is similar (eerily similar, I think). Author Tasha Alexander has written three books about Lady Emily Bromley, check them out on her website. I picked up the first title, And Only to Deceive but being in my reading rut did not actually read the whole thing though if it had been another month I think I really would have enjoyed it! I am so weird! Anyway, the gist of the story is that Lady Emily’s husband of only six months has died and left her a considerable fortune. Lady Emily is not particularly sad because she only married her husband to escape her mother and did not know him very well. About a year after his death, though, she begins to learn more about him through others. She learns that he was truly infatuated with her and even nicknamed her Kallista, which means beautiful. Also, she learns that he was a patron of the arts and a lover of Greek literature and artifacts. This leads Lady Emily to begin exploring these areas as well. The more Lady Emily explores both her new passion for Greek literature and art as well as her deceased husband, the more mysterious her husband’s death, originally ruled to have been from natural causes, becomes. Lady Emily wants to find the truth and begins to investigate her husband’s death.
Now, shall we count the similarities to Lady Julia (who did come after Lady Emily). 1. Victorian England; 2. Wealthy widow; 3. Natural death of husbands turns out to be murder; 4. Enigmatic men as possible love interest (though Colin cannot hold a candle to Brisbane); 5. Women who buck conventions of their time. I’m sure there are more but these are the biggies and the most obvious.
Like I said, I didn’t actually finish And Only to Deceive but I enjoyed what I did read. I did not like Emily as much as Julia nor did I find her nearly as sympathetic, but then again Julia turns a bit weak in the second book while Emily seems like she may have the potential to stay firm. The pacing of the two stories are different; And Only to Deceive is a much faster read. I also noticed one slightly annoying fact (well, annoying to me but maybe others won’t feel the same). The author’s last name is Alexander, her son’s name is Alexander (from the dedication), and two very minor characters in the first part of the book are named Alexander. So much Alexander.
Anyway, for those who are in Lady Julia Grey withdraw and have yet to find Alexander, read about the lovely Lady Emily Bromley.