Bristol, England, in the early Nineteenth Century. The slave trade has been abolished but slavery itself has not yet been outlawed.
Bess, a young woman of mixed heritage, has an ambiguous position in the home of the once-eminent Liston family. Raised and educated alongside the family’s children, Richard and Artemisia, she has been increasingly confined to the role of a domestic servant since the death of Joshua Liston, the household’s head.
When Richard Liston instigates an introduction between Captain Adam Bryce, a Royal Naval officer of repute, and his sister, Artemisia, Adam shows greater interest in Bess. Pressed by Artemisia to stalk Adam, Bess’s problems begin. And when the ailing matriarch, Elizabeth Liston, presents Bess with an impossible choice, the weaving of a web of deceit commences that will ultimately push Bess and Artemisia’s friendship to the brink.
As the scene shifts to rural Somerset, things are far from serene: Sebastian Weston, occupant of the grand Milton Abbey, means to hold both Bess and Artemisia in his thrall. Rivalries ensue, the bond between Artemisia and Bess being strained by their allegiances to the men in their lives.
Charting the turbulent waters of family commitments and amorous liaisons, it’s hard to fathom who to trust and whom to love.
I read Art & Grace in paperback. I have read a lot of mills and boon romance books, some were regency, so I easily whizzed through Art & Grace a regency novel. I loved how the author Catherine E. Chapman thought through of an unusual way for a domestic servant to meet Captain Bryce.
One fine morning late April as Bess was cleaning the outside steps, when ouch!! someone no other than Captain Bryce stepped on her hands in his heavy boots. Captain Bryce soon has an interest in Bess.
Art & Grace is a lovely story with twists that I certainly wouldn’t have seen coming, within this beautiful story. I do highly recommend Art & Grace even if you don’t read Regency novels, I can assure you that it’s most definitely an excellent read.
ABOUT AUTHOR CATHERINE E. CHAPMAN
Catherine E Chapman is a writer of women’s fiction and contemporary and historical romantic fiction. Her longer works have been described as accessible character fiction, humour often being an important ingredient.
Catherine E. Chapman has seven short historical romances are available in the anthology, ‘Collected Romances,’ in digital and print format.
Most of Catherine E. Chapman’s books are available digitally from Amazon, Smashwords and their retailers (B&N, Apple, Kobo, etc). Some are also available in print.
Her latest publication, ‘Art & Grace,’ is a romance set in Regency England. It is currently available digitally and in print from Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.
For tasters of Catherine E. Chapman’s contemporary writing, five short stories are available to download free from Smashwords and their retailers.
The author Catherine E. Chapman always likes to say a big thank you to the many readers and reviewers at Goodreads, who have taken time and care over reading, rating and commenting on her books. She really values feedback from readers so, if you have any comments to make on her fiction, please let me know.