Description: A really unusual romance set in 1840s Wales during the Rebecca Riots.
So, often Regency Romance novels are about some poor brooding man who has suffered, a lord, handsome as an angel, and the spunky young woman whose love socializes him and gets him to stop with all that brooding.
Here the hero, Geraint Pendryn, doesn’t brood. He hasn’t always behaved well. But it’s kind of bad behavior we all do, where you try and not think about the things that cause you pain. And in the ignoring, make the matter worse.
The story begins with Geraint riding to Wales, because he heard to drovers speak of the green hills in which he grows up. And that night he knows it is time to go home.
What he finds is a countryside divided. With the majority of the Non-conformist population paying tithes to an Anglican church they don’t attend. Paying tolls on roads sometimes only a mile apart. Rising rents. Starving families pushed out onto the Moore. He finds his childhood sweetheart, Marged, glaring at him with the anger of a restless people.
What’s so interesting about this story is it’s just as much about people wanting freedom. Wanting their voices to be heard.
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot of the story, but it’s always a nice moment when a book gives you something to think about. The nature of shunning versus punishment. The nature of opposition. Duality. Gender.
When civil disobedience takes the form of a man dressing as a woman, Rebecca, and going with her “daughters” to tollbooths to demand that the roads be free, well, that makes a good story.
And an excellent backdrop for an interesting romance.