Title: Touch the Sun, The Beauvisage Family, Book 3
Author: Cynthia Wright
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1789, Virginia
Published by: Boxwood Manor Books
Published Date: January 2, 2014
Sold by: Amazon digital Services LLC
Rakes & Rebels: The Beauvisage Family: (ecopy purchase from Amazon.com)
Heart of Fragile Stars: a novella prequel to Caroline (Jean-Philippe & Antonia) free at time of post!
Caroline (Alec & Caro)
Touch the Sun (Lion & Meagan)
Spring Fires (Nicholai & Lisette)
Her Dangerous Viscount (Grey Natalya)
Publisher’s Summary: A Daring Masquerade… ~ In 1789, on the eve of the first Presidential inauguration, charismatic Lion Hampshire aspires to a seat in the first Congress. In an effort to improve his rakish reputation, he agrees to an arranged marriage with Virginia-bred Priscilla Wade. However, his fiancée’s headstrong lady’s maid, Meagan, is not who she seems to be and Lion’s carefully crafted future may be undone by his passion for the wrong woman… Filled with Cynthia Wright’s hallmarks of warm intimacy, sensual romance, humor, adventure, and colorfully-drawn historical characters like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, TOUCH THE SUN is a shining achievement by a beloved author!
My Thoughts: The more you read from the Rakes and Rebels series, the more you want to read! Author Cynthia Wright gets right down to the things which matter in life, then and now, through her exquisite characterization of this period of history in building a nation of independence from those who are learning how to govern themselves.
Men, like Lion Hampshire, grew excited by the possibility of governing for the people and by the people. Wright brings the fervor of the times to the forefront. I can actually see the people in the streets rallying around George Washington as he humbly shows his presence.
I enjoyed the meeting some shakers of the birth of this new nation: Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and George Washington, William and Anne Bingham and John and Sally Jay—all play a part in this fascinating, historically accurate story. Never have I felt so close to our forefathers as I read this book. It was thrilling to see them in action, how they thought the first leader of these United States should be addressed, where the place of residence for their supreme leader be, etc..
Lion Hampshire wants to make a difference, but his past exploits, rather a rogue, didn’t have quite the right ring to it, to be considered as part of the elite—part of those who have the right to represent the people. Could he remedy the situation?
Firstly, he needs a bride from a respectable family, someone who is able to host dinners, grace his arm, mingle easily with politically minded men and women. Certainly, the heart would not be allowed to make the choice for him. And so, he chooses a woman, also looking for an exciting time in a big city, perfectly formed, exquisite manners, one Virginian belle, Priscilla Wade.
Meagan Sayers, a neighbor and friend of Priscilla, recently lost her parents through an accident, also her home and everything in it to the creditors. Her father had been overwhelmed in debt by their lavish lifestyle. Meagan is to be handed off to an old aunt in Boston, which she totally refuses to do. Therefore, she concocts with her friend Priscilla, to leave to Philadelphia as her lady’s maid. Priscilla is to stay in Philadelphia to spend the time to get to know her betrothed, Lion Hampshire, before their marriage.
The situation gets hilarious since Meagan is a woman who spends much of her time in breeches, riding horses, saying whatever comes to mind. How to be a quiet lady’s maid? She didn’t have the skills, temperament (her zest for life literally shone from her eyes), nor manner to secret away who she is. And she had to, because she knew these political giants personally through her family. She must keep a low profile.
But wouldn’t you know it? Lion is amused with her. (I was amused with her – what a character!) He enjoys the discussions they have, he becomes more and more attracted to her. She is NOT on his agenda. But, can one stop feelings when they begin to take hold?
This story spoke to me on so many levels. I thrilled to the times. I took some time to go to Wright’s Pinterest page of pictures depicting what the people wore at the time, what their streets might look like, etc. I even saw the false teeth made for George Washington. Apparently, the man consumed lots of sweets!
I loved the struggle Lion went through. He had to choose between moving in the political arena with respect, or follow that organ beating in his breast.
Could Meagan, after pretending to be a maid, come out with it and tell Lion who she is? Did she want him if he didn’t love her, but just her place in society? Meagan’s internal conflict and decisions, just about tear Lion apart.
Lastly, I admire the long-standing of this book, originally written in 1978. That’s almost 40 years ago. It has since been digitalized for a whole new set of readers. Those old books in print are hard to get. So, those who haven’t read this, do, you are in for a treat. The whole Beauvisage Family and Raveneau Family series are divine reading. You can even get both series in one complete set!