My Darling Caroline
by Adele Ashworth
Book list Caroline Grayson is a brilliant, independent nineteenth-century woman whose true passion is botany. Denied her dreams of studying at Oxford University because of her gender, she is also prevented from putting her auxiliary plan of attending New York University into action when her father compels her to marry the mysterious and sullen earl of Weymerth, Brent Ravenscroft. They both enter into the marriage with visions of personal gain. Brent wants to get his horses back from Caroline's father, who bought his estate while he was away at war. Caroline wants to annul the marriage, thus gaining the freedom to sail to the U.S. and achieve her dream of becoming a world-class botanist. But their hearts have other ideas. Caroline gradually realizes that her husband means as much to her as her flowers and that his unconventional respect for her intelligence represents a form of freedom her peers can only vaguely imagine. Ashworth's smart dialogue, complex characters, and complicated plot twists make this debut novel a joy to read. --Alexandra Baker
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.