Book name: Infamous
Author: Lex Croucher
Format: Print, audiobook, ebook
Genre: Historical romance
Publication Date: 2022
Star Rating: 4/5
Lex Croucher is a nonbinary author of YA and historical fiction whose pronouns are they/she.
Infamous is billed as the wild little sister of the Bridgerton series. Like the popular book series, it is set in Regency London.
Eddie (short for Edith) Miller and her close friend Rose Li love to practise kissing.
However, while Eddie longs for their friendship of many years to develop into a romance, Rose’s pathway is a different one.
Eddie is a budding author who isn’t entirely sure how to bring her work into the public eye. She loves to stay home and write.
Rose is a much more sociable character who enjoys the whirl of balls and dinners that make up the London season. Her gaze is firmly set on marriage.
Albert Rednock, well off and in his late thirties, is an acceptable match so far as Rose and her family are concerned.
The age difference is similar to that between her parents. He is reliable and kind. She believes she could come to love him.
By the prudent standards of the age, where love often flourished only on the far side of the altar, Rose’s style of approach is considered perfectly acceptable.
As Rose’s future is on the verge of being settled, Eddie struggles to accept Albert’s place in her friend’s life. She still longs for more from Rose.
However, it becomes increasingly clear that Rose is will become engaged. At this point, Eddie’s world opens up when she meets Nash Nicholson, a married poet similar to Lord Byron.
This gives her an invitation into literary society. She is able to grow as a writer and explore a world beyond the entirely respectable lives of her family and close friend.
With this wider circle of life experience comes the ability to accept Rose’s marriage to Albert and to be happy for the couple.
Professional success, and more experiences, lie ahead for Eddie.
I loved Infamous. The inclusion of non-white and non-heterosexual characters in the writing made it very welcoming and inclusive. Eddie was inspiring and resilient, and Rose, while not quite as brave as her childhood friend, sought a path in life that women of the time would have recognised and understood.
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