Having been a fan of The Breath Between Waves, I knew I had to read Of Trust & Heart. Historical fiction romance books have been some of my favorite to read recently. And I have to add Of Trust & Heart to the list. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
The Great War changed everything for Lady Harriet Cunningham. Instead of being presented at eighteen, she trained to be a nurse and shared forbidden kisses with her colleagues.
But now in 1923, at the age of 24, Harriet is facing spinsterhood.
It’s not such a ghastly prospect to her, but as the daughter of the Earl of Creoch, there’s a certain expectation that she must meet. So, in a last attempt to find a match for their daughter to see her safe and secure, they send her to her aunt and uncle in New York.
Only when she gets there, she and her cousin, a man who, like her, suffers from the weight of expectation from his father, decide on one last hoorah as a memory to hold close to their heart in their later life.
But when they arrive at the speakeasy hidden beneath a small bookstore, Harriet finds herself entranced by the singer. No matter how hard she wants to please her family and do her duty, she finds that there’s something about the woman that she can’t stay away from — that she can’t ignore her heart. Which is loudly calling for Miss Rosalie Smith.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
My favorite element of Of Trust & Heart was how much Hamilton delves into the historical fiction element for these queer characters. How the central conflict of Of Trust & Heart is between her heart and safety/her family duty. The danger that Harriet faces because of her queer identity. All the choices she has to make to ensure not only the chance to pursue her love, but the danger and possible family fall out.
It was simultaneously heart wrenching and my favorite element. Emotional because Hamilton doesn’t shy away from the fear of coming out or the difficult choice Harriet finds herself in. Of course it’s emotional to realize that while it may not be illegal in the US anymore to be gay, but this is still not a reality for everyone. And it was my favorite element because of the way its handled. The ways that Harriet must figure out what future she envisions for herself. All the space between the right decision and a happy one.
Moving away from the historical fiction element, Of Trust & Heart was charming. I loved the chemistry between Harriet and Rosalie, their banter and Rosalie as a character! While I got swept away with the emotions of this conflict between security and love, I also just enjoyed the character’s stories immensely. Because I wouldn’t have enjoyed the historical fiction element without also genuinely caring for Harriet. Of Trust & Heart will not only charm your heart, Hamilton does a fantastic job of bringing the history (and danger) alive while balancing these moments.
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