Edited to add: this book will be a Kindle freebie on Wednesday February 20 and Saturday February 23.
I can pay this author no higher compliment than to say that she writes with an Austenesque voice, the most impressive passages being the minor plot involving the feud between the staffs of the Belgrave house and Holmeshire and the romance between the footman and the lady's maid. I hope her next book reveals more of this talent for humor.
Unlike many historical romances, this book did not read like a 21st century text; the language and style sounded authentically 19th century.
The author has an excellent grasp of early Victorian society, and I felt that all of the characters acted true to the period. I saw only one major plot hole. How could the gentle, educated Emma have fallen in love with a stable boy from such a vulgar, uncouth family?
And one minor issue: I don't think that little Nicholas, as the son of Lord Breyton's daughter, would have succeeded to his grandfather's title. Not being an expert on English order of succession, however, perhaps I'm wrong.
Careening wildly from comparison to Austen, I'll now say that the ending felt almost Dickensian, as revelation piled upon revelation. It was a little too much for me, but it all fit.
Finally, I appreciated the epilogue, which took the major characters through the next decades and not just a few months, as romance epilogues so often do.
I recommend this book and will definitely be reading Debra Brown's next one.