Vote for women! Can she fight for freedom and for love?
When chocolate heiress Violet Coombes is caught hanging her suffragette banner in a most shocking place, Adam Beaufort Esquire proposes a marriage of convenience! His good name will avert scandal for her family, and her money will save the estate Adam’s father gambled away. Violet accepts, but she’s determined nothing will distract her from the Cause – including her oh-so-tempting husband!
I am thrilled to present ‘The Scandalous Suffragette’
Harlequin Historical’s first ever Edwardian romance.
Violet’s story is inspired by the daring suffragettes who fought for the women’s vote. Today we might not be able to imagine what it was like to have no vote and few legal rights, but in Violet’s time this battle had not yet been won.
The first decade of the twentieth century, with King Edward VII on the throne, was a tumultuous time for women and the men who loved them. It was the time the suffragettes moved from gentle persuasion to militant means. These bold women often faced disgrace and practiced ‘deeds, not words’ in their fight.
This time period was also when the great chocolate empires such as Cadbury and Fry came to prominence. The confectioners generally provided excellent conditions for their workers, including women. In this, Violet was very much a woman of her times. Her story celebrates every woman who ever fought for the rights we enjoy today.
But between chocolate and the vote, may we never have to choose…
A recipe for chocolate fondants, to enjoy while you enjoy the story.
Fifteen ounces of granulated sugar
I/2 pint of water
2 teaspoons of glucose
2 tablespoons of violet syrup or violet liqueur
3 tablespoons of double cream
One ounce of icing sugar
Eight ounces of dark couverture (high-quality) chocolate
Violet food colouring
Crystallised violet petals
To make the fondant, place the icing sugar and water in a saucepan, place over a low heat and stir until the sugar is melted.
Add the glucose and bring quickly to the boil.
Let it keep boiling until, if you drop a small piece into cold water, it forms a soft ball.
When it is at that consistency, turn off the heat.
While still warm, add the violet flavouring and colouring, as you desire.
Let it cool and add the cream.
On a damp marble slab or wooden board, pour on the fondant mixture.
With a flat bladed knife, fold the outside of the mixture into the centre, several times.
Using icing sugar on your hands when it is cool enough, knead the mixture until smooth and creamy.
Let the mixture set for a minimum of three hours. Roll into any shape you fancy.
Cover the shapes with the melted chocolate, and allow to set, after topping with a crystallised violet.
The Scandalous Suffragette is published by Harper Collins, under the Harlequin Imprint in the US, and Mills and Boon in the UK. In my research, I discovered that Mills and Boon were part of the suffragette story:
In this tradition, and to celebrate the British centenary of the women’s vote, I hope you enjoy this suffrage romance, with plenty of scandal …