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Set in England in 1794, this book is the story of a young girl who finds herself in the very worst kind of trouble, at the hands (well, it wasn't exactly his HANDS) of a man above her social class. Susannah is sort of caught between social classes, not exactly a laborer and not of the upper class either. She serves as a governess for a family who treats her very kindly, almost as a member of the family.
To get out of her predicament, Susannah seduces a newly-arrived curate (I must confess a complete and thorough ignorance of the different positions in the English church), who marries her in the belief that the child is his. This makes her sound like a slut, though, and I think what actually happened was the curate practically forced himself on her, and she allowed it to happen as a WAY out of her trouble. I don't think she sought him out, because I think that would make her a different sort of person.
I know this description sounds like one of those bodice-ripping Harlequin romances (not that I have any personal familiarity with THOSE **cough cough**), but it was a step above that. While the ending was somewhat predictable, it wasn't clear HOW the characters would arrive at that ending, so there was enough intrigue to keep me reading. Even past my bedtime, and even during a football game. That's high praise right there.
If you want to indulge in something that will make you feel warm and won't wear your brain out but won't make you feel stupid for having read it either, this book is for you.