cover image Worth a Fortune

Worth a Fortune

Sam Ledel. Bold Strokes, $17.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-63679-175-3

Ledel (Wildflower Words) reunites ex-lovers in this elegant and understated historical romance. When Harriet Browning and Ava Clark met in college 15 years before the start of the novel, lumber heiress Harriet was a coolly elegant N.Y.C. socialite and Ava a kindhearted country mouse who held her in awe. Now, in the wake of WWII, divorcée Harriet has retreated from high society in shame and struggles to wade through the sea of paperwork her late father left behind. Meanwhile, Ava’s grown a backbone through experiences working for the war effort, though she’s out of a job now that the war is over. When Harriet learns that her financial situation is even more dire than she feared, she places an ad for a personal secretary to help her untangle the mess. Ava applies thinking only to show up for the interview and demonstrate her newfound self-worth to the woman who shattered her heart. She’s not expecting the much-changed Harriet to actually hire her. Working closely reopens old wounds and reignites old feelings—but being together requires both women to radically alter their expectations for what their lives will be. The romance burns tantalizingly slowly as Ledel takes the time to thoroughly explore the ways her well-shaded heroines both complement and clash with each other. This remarkable emotional maturity does not come at the expense of heat, however; when the love scenes come, they steam up the pages. It’s subtle, lovely, and stirring. (July)