From the New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe series comes a lush, romantic novel about the love triangle that started Chicago’s infamous Great Fire.
It’s 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.
Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.
As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.
Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.
Set on the cusp of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, this historical melodrama by Godbersen (the Luxe series) is chock full of gossip, glitz, and a searing Upstairs, Downstairs dynamic between the serving class and the wealthy. Newly rich and social-climbing Emmeline has landed Chicago's most eligible bachelor to the dismay and jealousy of the other young women around her, and despite the fact that Emmeline is still in love with her childhood sweetheart, a boxer named Anders. Meanwhile, her best friend turned ladies' maid, Fiona, also secretly pines for Anders, and the two have since struck up a relationship following Emmeline's engagement. With the wedding just days away, Emmeline schemes to run away with Anders, breaking Fiona's heart, even as Godberson's early promise to tell the "real" story of the Great Chicago Fire adds the momentum of coming doom for everyone involved. The author's talent for creating flawed, maddeningly selfish high-society personalities is on full display in Emmeline, as is her knack for drawing sympathy for social underdogs such as Fiona, the real heroine of this love-triangle novel. Readers will root for Fiona and hope that she prevails with Anders, despite the possibility that their futures might just burn to the ground. Ages 14 up.