Title: The Currency Lass
Author: Tea Cooper
Publisher: 20 February 2017 by Harlequin (Australia) MIRA
Pages: 366 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, romance
My Rating:4.5 cups
As her father's only heir, Catherine Cottingham expects to inherit their sprawling property in the Hunter Valley. What she doesn't understand is why her father is trying to push her into a marriage to the pompous and repulsive Sydney businessman Henry W. Bartholomew.
When the will is read it becomes clear money, or the lack of it, lay behind her father's plans. Catherine is mortified — as a married woman all her possessions will pass to her husband, the overbearing Bartholomew. Her only alternative is to wait until her twenty-first birthday and inherit the property in her own right, but can she elude such a determined man until then?
A chance encounter with a travelling circus and its fiery lead performer, Sergey Petrov, offers the perfect solution and Catherine escapes to the goldfields. But there is more to the circus than spangles and sawdust and Catherine finds herself drawn into a far-reaching web of fraud and forgery...
Another great Aussie drama set in the outback at the time of the gold rushes, ‘The Currency Lass’, is full to the brim with great locations, well rounded characters and an engaging plot. I just love these strong female leads and Catherine Cottingham surely fulfills that role in the first few pages as she follows her intuition to do what is right.
Venturing from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, and a little of Bathurst during the gold rushes, the 1850s is a time of privilege for some but hardship for many. The interesting added dimension to this particular historical tale is that of a travelling circus - an inside view to life on the road. So there are many aspects to this tale that make it unique: circus acts, victors and villains, truth and lies, courage and love.
Although young, Catherine is a worthy heroine who courageously faces many challenges head on. As she fights for her home and against an arranged marriage, as she champions the poor and struggles to do what is right, you cannot help but admire her. Sergey matches her for courage, honesty and determination with their relationship tested at times in wanting to support each other in achieving their goals.
I do enjoy reading tales of this era and highly recommend taking this journey back to a time in Australia where people struggled to start afresh in making a new life for themselves. Tea Cooper has presented a memorable tale of a bygone era.
“It makes me a currency lass, nothing more, nothing less, the first generation born in this land to convict parents.”
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release