Named A Most Anticipated Romance of 2023 by Goodreads and Bookpage
"Croucher infuses this energetic Regency era friends-to-lovers sapphic romance with zany wit, joie de vivre, and a distinctive literary bent... Bookish readers who wish that Alcott’s Little Women were a bit more explicitly queer will lap this up." ––Publishers Weekly
Twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer Edith (“Eddie”) Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together—from climbing trees and sneaking bottles of wine, to extensive kissing practice. But Rose has started talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. Why can’t they continue as they always have?
Then Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson––a rival of Lord Byron, if he does say so himself––and he welcomes her into his world of eccentric artists and boundary-breaking visionaries. When Eddie receives an invitation to Nash's crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside, promising inspiration (and time to finish her novel, a long-held dream), she eagerly agrees. But the pure hedonism and debauchery that ensues isn’t exactly what she had in mind, and Eddie soon finds herself torn between her complicated feelings for Rose and her equally complicated dynamic with Nash, whose increasingly bad behavior doesn’t match up to her vision for her literary hero.
Will Eddie be forced to choose between her friendship with Rose and her literary dreams––or will she be able to write her own happily ever after?
Croucher (Reputation) infuses this energetic Regency era friends-to-lovers sapphic romance with zany wit, joie de vivre, and a distinctive literary bent. Edith "Eddie" Miller is distressed when Rose Li, her best friend, kissing practice partner, and primary audience for the stories she writes, backs out of their childhood pact never to marry and begins seeking the company of an older gentleman. Through Rose's new connections Eddie meets charismatic poet Nash Nicholson, who shows an interest in Eddie's writing. Eddie, Rose, and Rose's beau, Albert, join an eccentric circle of artists at Nash's rundown country estate for a retreat meant to inspire creativity. Amid the ensuing drinking, seances, and chaos, the women get the chance to be more explicit about their true feelings for each other—even as Nash's behavior toward Eddie becomes increasingly dubious. The physical connection between Eddie and Rose is sweet and gentle, if not electric, and the fact that Eddie's reaction to Nash's passionate aggression is disillusionment rather than swooning gives the story a refreshingly contemporary feel despite the period setting. Bookish readers who wish that Alcott's Little Women were a bit more explicitly queer will lap this up.