ALL BETSEY DOBSON HAS EVER ASKED IS THE CHANCE TO BE VIEWED ON HER OWN MERITS, BUT IN A MAN’S WORLD, THAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN
When Betsey disembarks from the London train in the seaside resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After attempting to forge a letter of reference she knew would be denied her, Betsey has been fired from the typing pool of her previous employer. Her vigorous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her character permanently besmirched. Now, without money or a reference for her promised job, the future looks even bleaker than the debacle behind her. But her life is about to change . . . because a young Welshman on the railroad quay, waiting for another woman, is the one man willing to believe in her.
Mr. Jones is inept in matters of love, but a genius at things mechanical. In Idensea, he has constructed a glittering pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Betsey, he recognizes the ideal tour manager for the Idensea Pier & Pleasure Building Company. After a lifetime of guarding her secrets and breaking the rules, Betsey becomes a force to be reckoned with. Now she faces a challenge of another sort: not only to outrun her sins, but also to surrender to the reckless tides of love. . . .
Atlee s outstanding debut unflinchingly explores the harrowing difficulties faced by an indigent young woman trying to support herself in the harsh and unforgiving man s world of Victorian England. All angles and points, both physically and emotionally, Miss Betsey Dobson is determined to prove herself in the grueling secretarial pool at the London firm of Baumston & Smythe, Insurers, but she s at the mercy of gossiping co-workers and a lecherous junior clerk. Betsey takes her revenge and escapes, near-penniless, to the carefully researched seaside resort town of Idensea, where she s offered a well-paying tour-manager job by young John Jones, a Welshman with a good face, open as a summer window. Betsey s fierce struggles to preserve her independence and succeed in a job she knows perilously little about parallel the poignantly crescendoing attraction between her and John, complicated by his determination to marry up perchance to slyly drawn villainess Miss Lillian Gilbey. Atlee s splendid cast of supporting characters, her insights into Betsey s passion for independence and John s compassion for the downtrodden, and her fine eye for period detail make this an unusually satisfying feast for romance readers.