Love, marriage, obsession, betrayal and treachery in 1920's London - a powerful and gritty saga perfect for fans of Kitty Neale, Josephine Cox and Rosie Goodwin.
The hedonism of London in the roaring '20's is a world away from Annabel Tarleton's ordinary country existence. Until a chance meeting with the charming Richard Fortescue at a society ball changes her life for ever.
Swept off her feet by the dashing Richard, and his renowned fortune, Annabel soon realises all that all that glitters isn't gold. Her bid for freedom has come at a terrible price and she finds herself trapped inside a marriage that behind closed doors is cruel and brutal.
Annabel has no choice but to flee, and will do everything to save herself, and her unborn baby, from destitution. But the very rich and very powerful expect to get what they want - and Richard wants only one thing - Annabel...
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New historical novel by Rosie Clarke
The Runaway Wife by Rosie Clarke takes readers back in time to just before Christmas in 1929. Annabel Tarleton’s family lost most of their money in the recent stock market crash thanks to investments made by her deceased father. Annabel is expected by her mother to marry a well-to-do gentleman and take her place in society like her mother and generations of women before her. At a dance, Annabel encounters Richard Hansen. Richard is handsome, mysterious and has a bad boy reputation which attracts Annabel. Richard, though, states he is not the marrying type. Annabel gets an invitation to spend time at Kendlebury Hall with her friend, Georgie Barrington. While there Annabel meets Paul Keifer (a printer) and they spend time together. Paul soon proposes to Annabel, but she knows her domineering and critical mother will not approve of the match. She turns him down and returns home. Annabel encounters Richard again at a dance where Annabel has indulged in too much champagne and she finds herself in a compromising position. After a quick engagement, Annabel finds herself married to Richard. She soon discovers why people warned her away from him. One night after Richard is particularly cruel, Annabel escapes and hopes that he will not find her (and follow through on his threats). Will Annabel ever be free of Richard?
The Runaway Wife took me back in time to the late 1920s in England. I found The Runaway Wife to contains good writing and nicely developed characters. I like that were a variety of characters from the different classes (not everyone was Annabel’s social class). Annabel is a woman who has been controlled by her mother her whole life. She would like to pursue job opportunities, but her mother is pressuring her to marry (and take her place in society). We get to follow Annabel as she gets married and finds that she has traded her controlling mother for a domineering, abuse husband. It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but then I was hooked. I wanted to find out what would happen to Annabel. There are a couple of slow spots (every book has them), but overall the pace is steady (picks up pace later in the book). I found the story to be realistic (gritty). The violence that Annabel suffers is described as well as other cruel acts performed by Richard. Rosie Clarke captured the era with her descriptions of the locale, the language used by the characters, hairstyles (women cutting off their long hair) and the clothing (hemlines were on the rise). She portrays the changing roles of women, the nightlife (drinking and dancing at nightclubs), the rich finding themselves without money (thanks to the stock market crash), life as a politician’s wife and the big estates in trouble. One of the lessons in The Runaway Wife is about choices. Every choice we make takes us down a path. It is important that we learn from our mistakes, so we can make better decisions in the future. I found the ending to be satisfying. I like it when I find myself smiling when I finish a story. Find yourself back in time and experiencing a wide range of emotions in Rosie Clarke’s The Runaway Wife.
The Runaway Wife
Totally enjoyed this book. Excellent writing and strong characters. Want to read more of Mrs Clarke’s books.