10 clean, historical romance novels in time for Valentine's Day

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 9:31 a.m. MST

"Summerset Abbey" Next » 9 of 10 « Prev
Simon and Schuster
It’s 1913 England — roughly the same time period as “Downton Abbey” is set — and sisters Rowena and Victoria Buxton were raised in an unconventional home that defied most Edwardian traditions. Prudence Tate is their age and although the daughter of the late governess, she was raised like a sister to Rowena and Victoria.

When their sisters’ widower father, Sir Philip, dies, they go to live with their uncle and aunt at their estate at Summerset Abbey, who are very entrenched in the ways of traditional social customs.

Prudence is forced to be a maid to Rowena and Victoria as a condition of her staying with them and has difficulty navigating life as a servant below stairs while not being accepted above stairs. All three work to carve out a place for themselves in the rigid social structure set up by their uncle in the community surrounding Summerset Abbey while mourning the loss of Sir Phillip.

Rowena hates the position that Prudence is in but feels helpless to do anything. However, a downed plane and mysterious pilot capture her attention. Victoria, who is asthmatic but has an idealistic spirit, finds an unused room to secretly practice typing while she investigates a family secret that is entrenched in scandal.

When a young noble takes an interest in Prudence and she finds out more about her past, her late mother’s family and the secrets around her birth father, she is forced to make a decision as she seeks to find a place that feels like home.

The first of a trilogy, T.J. Brown’s “Summerset Abbey” (Gallery Books, $15) is an emotional novel that shares the tests of three young women’s strength, principles and loyalty that fans of “Downton Abbey” would enjoy. The next installment is due in March.
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North Salt Lake, UT

I'm surprised Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson is not on this list.

Colorado Springs, CO

One of my favorite love stories is one men enjoy too: The Scarlet Pimpernel.

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