AN HEIRESS TO REMEMBER - Maya Rodale
The Gilded Age Girls Club
ISBN: 978-0-06-283884-1 (Print Edition)
ISBN: 978-0-06-283885-8 (Digital Edition)
New York City - 1895
Sixteen years ago, Beatrice Goodwin was in love with Wes Dalton. However, as the daughter of wealthy department store owner Barney Goodwin, being in love with one of her father's employees was not going to work. Her parents have big plans for her, and they include marriage to an English duke who is in dire need of a wealthy wife. So, despite her objections, Beatrice is married to the duke and goes off to live in a drafty old castle in England. But now, she's back in New York City after a scandalous divorce from her titled husband, and Beatrice is not going to let anyone else tell her what to do. Her father has died, and her brother has run the family business into the ground with his philandering and drunken behavior. To Beatrice this is horrendous, and something must be done to save Goodwins Department Store.
Wes Dalton was destroyed when Beatrice chose the duke over him. In his mind, she picked money over love. So, for sixteen years, Wes' plan has been to ruin Goodwins. With money given to him by Beatrice's mother to stay away from her daughter, Wes began to build his own empire. And now, Dalton's Department Store is the most prominent, wildly successful store in New York City. And it is situated across the street from the now failing Goodwins. Knowing that Beatrice is back in town, he hopes to finish his plan and prove to her that she made a mistake sixteen years ago.
A legal maneuver by Beatrice prevents her brother from selling Goodwins to Dalton, and, after having her brother sent off to a sanitarium to control his drinking, she sets out to get the business back on track. With the help of a group of women who run businesses, Beatrice rehabilitates her family store, but in a modern way. Firing the board of directors (all male) and the store's manager, who refused to do anything Beatrice asked him to do, she hires women, offers daycare, establishes unheard of things such as a hair salon, and begins to make an impact on the city, much to Dalton's dismay. But have the two lost all of the feelings they once had for each other?
Strange events begin to occur in Goodwins, all seemingly done by someone wanting to ruin its popularity. But who would do such things? Beatrice is frustrated by this but wants to believe that Dalton isn't involved.
AN HEIRESS TO REMEMBER has a refreshing premise. Set in the era when women are beginning to come into their own, fighting for the vote, and pulling away from Victorian expectations, the story takes place in a vibrant city where the future looks bright. Beatrice has spent too many years trying to fit into a society where she was not welcomed. Now she is home and spreading her wings, even though having Wes back in her life can be distracting.
The Gilded Age Girls Club books are enjoyable and lots of fun. Don't miss this latest novel.