A title-rich and money-poor writer in postwar Britain finds herself appointed as second lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, sister to the eventual Queen Elizabeth II.
Once upon a time, the Honorable Vera Strathmore was engaged and her life was happily mapped out for her. But then Henry, her beloved, was killed—just one of the many who never came home to Britain after World War II. Vera’s grief is deep and long-lasting, in part because she and Henry may not have been legally married but they—to gloss over their behavior as the book does—enjoyed their time together intimately. Based on those experiences, Vera starts secretly writing romance novels as Mrs. Rose Lavish. One of her fans—Princess Margaret—is eager to meet the author of these naughty books, and Vera’s cousin Rupert, who is part of Margaret’s set of friends, introduces the two. This meeting leads to a closeness between the women and Vera’s employment with Margaret. Part friend, part confidante, and entirely a woman who only serves at the (temperamental) royal will, Vera always remembers her subservient position. This is author Blalock’s first work of historical fiction, but she has written a number of historical romance titles under the name Georgie Lee (His Mistletoe Marchioness, 2018, etc.). Much like a gracious aunt who still likes a bit of genteel gossip about scandalous behavior, however, this book follows Margaret and her set and their hard-drinking, partner-swapping shenanigans without talking about exactly what goes on behind closed doors. Blalock places Vera within historic events and surrounds her with real people so the reader experiences well-known elements of this period in British history through the thoughts, dreams, grief, and love of a fictional character.
A frothy, fun, escapist read.