Abigail Chantry’s parents died when she was young leaving her to care for her younger sister Jane. Although she has not seen Jane in years, she helps to pay for her sister’s schooling with her job as a governess for a family she is not especially fond of. When she gets word that Jane has been kidnapped and is being held as a captive in a brothel, she sets out to rescue her, and in the process also saves two other girls from the brothel as well. This unlikely quartet take a vow to take care of each other and thereby form their makeshift “sisterhood”. This is how the Chance Sisters come into being, and how the first book in the series, The Autumn Bride begins.
This is my first book by Anne Gracie. Before this book, I had never even heard of this author before, which I can’t believe, as I am sure that I have been missing out!! I was hooked from the moment that I read the back cover, and although I felt that the beginning of the book was a bit slow, it picked up after about the fifth or sixth chapter and moved along quite nicely. It really started getting interesting once the sisters come across what they believe to be an empty mansion, where lacking money and needing food, Abigail decides to break in to try to find something of value that they can use to help them. What she finds instead is Lady Beatrice Davenham, who is bedridden and untended by her servants, who are using her money to instead feather their own nests. After she tells the story of her negligence, Abigail knows that she must help Lady Beatrice and proceeds to throw the worthless help out. At that point Lady Beatrice asks the sisters to stay and take care of her as her “nieces”, and that in return she would help them to find husbands. All goes well for awhile until Lady Beatrice’s nephew Max returns from the Orient to find a houseful of imposters caring for his Aunt.
As far as the characters go, I would have to say that my favorite character was Lady Beatrice – she is such a gem and totally won my heart. I enjoyed this lighthearted story immensely, and appreciated the fact that the author didn’t turn the whole thing into a love at first sight kind of thing. I enjoyed the tension between Max and Abigail as the rest of the story played out. This was such a delightful read for me, and I have to thank the ladies from Book Binge who sent me the book to review. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series, and will definitely be looking for more books by Anne Gracie as well.
Rating: 4 out of 5