“I have a proposition for you, Your Grace, I am offering to become your mistress.”

“Mistress of Rye,” an intriguing Regency romance, is the first book in a series of four. Some of the characters featured in the novel serve as protagonists in subsequent books.

Nineteenth century England was a harsh era for women of all social classes, even for ladies of the nobility. While men were allowed excessive freedom and self-indulgence, ladies of the aristocracy were held to impossibly high standards of conduct. Living in gilded cages, in the midst of elegance and luxury, they still led a precarious existence under male domination. Lady Katherine, needing a place of refuge, offers herself as mistress to the reclusive national war hero, the Duke of Rye. Theirs is a story of love prevailing.

I am currently finishing the second novel where the protagonist is Havisham, an illegitimate son of the nobility who rises to power as a star of industry. The book describes his complicated marriage to a noblewoman on the background of the changes in British society of that time. Extremely wealthy and politically powerful, Havisham represents the rise of the middle class, while his wife’s story represents the decadence and the decline of the aristocracy. It is a love story that unfolds as the mystery of Havisham’s birth is unraveled.