Genre: Historical Fiction
Reading Level: YA
Setting: Osfrid & Adoria
Born into a world of wealth in Osfrid, the Countess of Rothford, is about to be forced into a marriage to a wealthy barley plantation owner after her parent’s death forces her family to seek money elsewhere. While condensing her household one of her maids is striking up a bargain with a young man named Cedric Thorn. Cedric represents a group called The Glittering Court. The goal of the Court is to take maids & under privileged young girls & teach them about high society, then transport them to the new world of Adoria across the sea to be married to wealthy business men. This is the perfect opportunity for Adelaide to escape her unwanted marriage….
After making the switch with the maid, Adelaide as she is called from now on, is taken with several other girls including a Sirminican refuge & a laundress to one of the many finishing schools owned by the Court. There the girls spend months in a dormitory style school setting learning about proper table etiquette, fashion, & manners. Of course Adelaide is surprisingly the best at all of these things thanks to her wealthy background. Adelaide strikes up an unexpected friendship with Cedric who is the only one who knows of the switch between the countess & the maid.
At the end of the schooling the girls are ranked based on their performance & growth. Then they are given wardrobes & names based on their ranking as well as price tags for the marriages. The theme for this year’s crop of girls is jewels, so Adelaide is given the rank of diamond.
From there all the girls are loaded onto two boats to make the journey across the sea to Adoria. But a terrible storm hits them halfway across the sea & one of the boats is lost to the storm.
Despite the loss once they reach Adoria the girls are dragged off to parties, galas, & fancy dinners on the prowl for wealthy new husbands. Many of the girls are married off right away but the diamond is the most precious of all the girls & her courtship takes more gusto than most. Adelaide strikes the fancy of the Governor’s son, Warren, who is making it big for himself in the neighboring gold rush town of Hadisen.
But Adelaide has her eyes on someone else…
Meanwhile Cedric is involved in a new religious “cult” called Alanzan and Adelaide isn’t sure how she feels about it, but the two must stay out of trouble & under the radar to be together.
The story takes a turn when Adelaide & Cedric are discovered together & Warren makes a deal with them to allow them to build up some money & get married. They travel to Hadisen where Cedric is given a gold claim to mine for all the money he can get, while Adelaide stays with a family nearby & teaches their children until her & Cedric can get married. But trouble finds the couple as Warren & his cronies gang up on them, almost killing Cedric & attempting to rape Adelaide who puts up a fight.
The couple is found by a friend & taken back to the city where Cedric will face trial for his religious crimes for being an Alanzan. Adelaide has been found out by Warren’s mother, who has hired an investigator to track her down & take her back to Osfrid.
But with the help of several friends Adelaide thinks she knows how to save Cedric & put Warren behind bars but will it be in time?