Nothing on Earth & Nothing in Heaven by Susan Fanetti
Published by Freak Circle Press on January 13th 2018
Buy on Amazon
Lady Nora Tate is a young woman caught between the expectations of her station and the demands of her own heart and mind. The noble world of her birth is a luxurious cage, locking her away from all she wishes to know and feel and do, the woman she wishes to be. All around her, the world is changing, and she fights to join it, even as she creates scandal with her every attempt to break free.
William Frazier is the scion of an American railroad tycoon, in England to seek new business opportunities for his family’s empire and visit his good friend, Lord Christopher Tate. With Chris as his guide, he tours the London Season, and meets his friend’s younger sister. He’s captivated at once by the lovely young lady with the sharp wit and searching eyes.
Raised by visionary parents, William sees Nora’s cage for what it is and admires her striving against constraint. But her world will neither free her, nor accept him. William would be her hero and save her, but Nora wants to save herself, if she can.
Set against the tumultuous cultural and political backdrop of the end of the Edwardian Era, on two continents and across an ocean, Nothing on Earth & Nothing in Heaven is a story about the deep love between a young woman finding her voice, and the man strong enough to stand at her side as she demands the right to use it.
This novel is a standalone.
Note: explicit sex.
A memorable story of a young woman’s determination to be herself and the battles she fought in order to proudly speak the final moving words in the epilogue. I was initially swept up into the story believing I had been transported back in time to an era long gone. The depiction of life for a young woman was an eye opener. It wasn’t that I was ignorant, but the deep connection I felt with Nora made it personal.
I was kept ignorant. Expected to be ignorant. It was demanded of me, lest I cause scandal to my family. So when you call me ignorant as if it’s a simple fact, it’s like you’ve tightened the bonds others have placed on me.”
Nora was unable to conform, no matter how hard she tried.
Born with a strong spirit and an inquiring mind, she struggled to hold her tongue to save herself. Well that was until she saw the advantages of withholding information from others. Her saving grace came through the kindred spirits she found in others, especially her brother’s friend William who was her strongest advocate.
William appreciated Nora and was sympathetic to her frustrations with being forced to conform to society’s expectations. A strong supporter of his mother’s work for the suffragettes in America he was astounded by the violent opposition like-minded women faced in England. He also had to contend with the cultural difference between England and America, knowing his country would offer starkly different opportunities for her.
Nora knew marriage would bring her freedom but it would not be on her terms. To go from being included in vibrant conversation to relegated to an obedient silent wife was a horrifying image she found abhorrent. After having met William and experienced his warmth and genuine interest in her opinion, she could not settle for anything less.
As William was not considered a suitable match for Nora, they were quickly separated to spare her being tarnished for the kind of man her father intended she marry. The differing opinion yielded by the men in her life as to what was in Nora’s best interest was mixed with good intentions and blind determination to ensure she conformed to society’s expectations for an unwed lady of her standing.
The battles Nora encountered through her unconstrained thoughts or by being in the wrong place at the wrong time was heart wrenching. During her most vulnerable moments, the men who determined her fate made her life a living hell. Doing all they could to break her will for her own good only made her more defiant.
“How do you even know that?” Again, he shrugged. “I live in San Francisco, and I’ve spent a lot of time with roughnecks. Also, I was a single man for a long time.
I’ve seen the inside of a whorehouse or two.” “Just stopped in for a spot of tea, I expect?”
He gave her a very broad caricature of an innocent face. “Of course. On my way to church.”
Loving gestures and tantalising moments carried Nora through her darkest moments .
Her feistiness and zest for life had her on par with the heroines I admire in the dark and suspenseful genres I usually read. The steamy moments were well placed and beautifully written, even incorporating a moment or two of dirty talk! The amorous moments were sparse with opportunities limited for the fated lovers effectively heightening the forbidden aspects which were reverently upheld by the respect Nora and William had for each other.
I loved the moments in history where speculation about future infrastructure and the dismissive banter bandied about with the utmost authority by the men of the time. And then there were the moments where with the mere mention of a significant moment in time it was obvious they were headed into a catastrophe. As a reader, it was like I was watching in slow motion. In no time I forgot what I knew and again fell in step with the story being told and hoped what has been documented in history would pan out differently here.
The connection I felt towards both William and Nora was tangible. This book is teaming with scenarios and varying character reactions worthy of provoking stimulating discussions among readers. That said, there was some behaviour when aired in public, regardless of the era was inhumane and unacceptable.
Goosebumps covered my skin as I lost count of the moving scenes illuminating the hope I envisaged for Nora. There were times where the glimmer of light faded but what I was left with was a story that prompted me to look within to question my stance and support of others less fortunate.
I was lured to Never on Earth & Never in Heaven by the synopsis and by being an unapologetic fan of Ms Fanetti’s MC/Biker romance series. Historical romances are not a romance genre I am drawn to read. My reward for straying out of my comfort zone was an inspirational and entertaining story which I believe will hold universal appeal for readers regardless of their stance on the suffragettes of yesterday or the women who challenge contemporary opinions now. This is a generous poignant book for our times that captured my heart.
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