I’ve been on a Victorian romance kick lately, between my most recent read and The Ruin of Evangeline Jones. The Baroness of New York doesn’t have the gothic tones that Evangeline Jones did, but takes place around the same time. Instead of mediums and dukes, Baroness tackles the more complex themes of classism and racism. This book wasn’t perfect for me, but the character are absolutely lovely, and I’m eager to read Book 2 in the series upon its release this winter.
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The Baroness of New York
by Anya Silverthorne
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Baroness Adele von Mueller learns the sweetest love is forbidden….
Baroness Adele von Mueller
It’s 1903 and free-spirited 18-year-old Baroness Adele von Mueller has just arrived to live with her spinster aunt in New York City. After a previous impropriety tarnishes her reputation with the German nobility, her father sends her overseas to give her one last chance to marry into money and save the family’s name. Instead, Adele finds herself falling for charming and wickedly handsome Nick Mason, the foreman of a paper factory, who is as gorgeous as he is poor. As family secrets are revealed, Adele learns there’s much more riding on her marrying wealthy than just keeping the family’s name…
Nick Mason has a habit of falling in love with every girl he sees. An orphan, former newspaper seller and now a foreman at a paper mill, he’s nursing a bruised heart after being dumped by a laundry girl. But when he meets Baroness Adele disguised on a night out as a maid in her family’s house, he knows right away there’s something different about her. Once she reveals her true identity, he’s even more intrigued. Nick has fallen for white women before, but never one so wealthy, and never one he knew he couldn’t live without. With most people firmly against their love, he must visit her in secrecy to make their romance blossom.
Nick and Adele must stand up to a society and a family that won’t accept their love for what it is: true and enduring. Can they withstand the storm, or will they be forced apart by a deck that’s stacked against them in this steamy Victorian romance?
This historical interracial romance/Victorian romance novel marks Anya Silverthorne’s debut.
Our book starts off with Adele, a spirited but sometimes selfish German aristocrat. She has been sent to live with her aunt in New York after scandal stops her from finding a respectable husband in Germany. Adele soon befriends her maid, Sophie, and sneaks out for a night on the town. That night, she meets Nick, and they fall in love at first sight. Adele doesn’t realize it, as she is not fully aware of the concept of racism at first, but it’s more than social class differences keeping her apart from Nick. Nick is black, and not everyone takes kindly to their romantic relationship.
Adele struggles deciding whether to run away with Nick or do what her family expects of her. Just running away seems like the best option, but if she does so, she risks her grandfather not just disinheriting her, but no longer funding her aunt’s lifestyle. The repercussions of this would not just affect Adele’s aunt, but also the servants in the household, like Sophie and her family. Adele’s internal struggle is only intensified at the end of the novel, when she gets to know Theodore, an American bachelor of her social standing whom she actually gets along with very well.
I found the characters in this book to be so compelling. Adele is selfish at the start, but undergoes some major character development throughout. She also rejects a lot of the not-so-feminist tropes found in historical romance. She’s sexually experienced, to a degree, and ends up fully embracing her sexuality with Nick. The other characters, including side characters we see snippets of, are equally complex and interesting. Nick is very sweet, and while he’s my romantic preference for Adele, I think my favorite characters are Theodore and Sophie.
There are some issues with this book, namely historical inaccuracies and a few inconsistencies (though I received this book ahead of the publication date, so it’s possible at least the latter will be fixed by then). There were a few times I felt that word choices were drastically off. Also, despite the detailed characters, I found it difficult to connect with them due to the writing style. Silverthorne largely shows us Adele’s POV, but this book is written in third person omniscient. That particular POV is not my favorite in romance with erotic scenes. I love a steamy sex scene, but because I just wasn’t fully in the characters’ heads, the love scenes in this did nothing for me.
Finally, I think it is important to note that this is not romance novel. It is a novel in a series with a plot that largely concerns romance. By this I mean that to qualify as a romance novel, a book must have a Happily Ever After or at least a Happy For Now. Baroness ends on a cliffhanger with Adele and Nick separated in spite of their love for one another, at least for now.
Overall, I found this to be an exciting debut by Anya Silverthorne, and I am eager for Book 2 in the series. It’s imperfect, but the characters have a lot of heart, and that makes it a 3 star read for me. I will keep an eye out for Book 2 in December! Thank you Anya Silverthorne, Platen Press, and HF Virtual Book Tours for giving me a copy!
About the Author
Anya Silverthorne makes her debut with The Baroness of New York. She enjoys writing fiction about the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. In “real life,” she is a historian of a completely different time period.
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I really enjoyed the characters in this one and am looking forward to Book 2 in the series! It ends on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This book wasn’t perfect for me – there were some inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and third person omniscient just doesn’t do it for me in romance. However, the characters are all interesting, from spirited, albeit selfish Adele to sweet and loving Nick to funny and kind Sophie to charming and entitled Theodore. The character development is great. Look for my full review at bitchbookshelf.com on May 5! Thank you to the author, publisher, and HF Virtual Book Tours for giving me a copy in exchange for my review.
Blog Tour Schedule
Friday, May 1
Review at Passages to the Past
Sunday, May 3
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings
Monday, May 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, May 6
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Thursday, May 7
Review at Mommy In Color
Friday, May 8
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Sunday, May 10
Guest Post at A Darn Good Read
Monday, May 11
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Tuesday, May 12
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog
Wednesday, May 13
Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, May 14
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read
Friday, May 15
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Monday, May 18
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, May 21
Review at Books in their Natural Habitat
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Baroness of New York! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
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