Sophia Braighton arrives from Philadelphia to London with
the aim of being introduced to Society for a season. I
liked her at once. As the story unfolds we learn that
Sophia was compromised by a reckless man and word went
around her home circle, so she would be rejected as a
TAINTED BRIDE. Hence her trip to England.
Sophia is staying with a formal aunt, who intends to do the
best for her charge. When they hear that another young lady
was briefly seen in a compromising position Sophia's heart
goes out to her and she undertakes to make Elinor
Burkenstock her friend. Even Aunt Daphne, Lady Collington,
agrees that it's not fair if Elinor's life prospects are
ruined because a thoughtless man kissed the girl who was
a 'silly chit' in her eyes but no worse. In this way Sophia
meets Daniel Fallon, an Earl, who has travelled to
cosmopolitan Philadelphia and finds her breathtaking. Pity
he's a friend of the man who kissed Elinor and left her to
face the music. Pity, also, that as a result of her
experiences Sophia never intends to marry. I did find it
odd that someone who wishes to put the past behind her and
keep her secret, tells the secret to several different
people she's just met in the course of a few weeks.
I enjoyed Aunt Daphne, who seems to be invigorated by
presenting a young lady for a season in London. Everyone
knows everyone, and there's not much for women to do but
gossip and compare fashions. Sophia is livening up the
place wonderfully, and there's nothing like hosting an
eligible attractive young lady to draw attention and
invitations. In fact, Aunt Daphne comes across to me as
quite the most admirable person in the book.
Another interesting aspect is that an opera singer is
described as a lady of questionable reputation. Performers
were often obliged to sleep with agents or managers, in
order to get work. Once more nobody is concerned about the
man's reputation. Servants were deemed capable of getting
up to all sorts of things but the supposedly better classes
were determined to make unmarried women virtual prisoners
and blame them for having been assaulted. So TAINTED BRIDE
by A.S. Fenichel is an understated account of feminist
struggle, shown through the eyes of an American girl. This
is an adult romance in a series called Forever
I like that the wedding isn't the end of the story.
Sailing to London, Sophia Braighton only hopes to escape certain ruin. But when she arrives, her Great Aunt Daphne has other plans for the American-born beauty. Determined to marry off her niece to a man of means, she propels Sophia into London society, not knowing that the young woman’s trust in men is shattered. In fact, Sophia never expects to ever feel anything for a man. Then again, she never expects to find herself in the company of the dashing earl of Marlton….
From the moment he sees Sophia, Daniel Fallon feels alive in a way he has not since his broken engagement. Though the vulnerable beauty shies from the passion burning bright between them, Daniel is determined to court her and make her his bride. And when he learns of the painful secret she harbors, he is equally determined to take revenge on the man responsible. But will the quest destroy him—and his future with his beloved?