Librarian Lydia Bancroft and her mother are desperate for Lydia to marry well and soon. Betrothed to rogue Jason Avondale, Lydia has her future falling into place. However, she finds herself intrigued by a man who regularly visits her library. The library patron, Sebastian Marks, runs an illegal club where gambling happens and debts are common. His reputation is that of a guy not-to-be-messed-with and Jason Avondale owes him a fair bit of money. The paths of all three cross early in the story and things change around for Lydia.
The story is set at the close of the World’s Fair in Chicago. That fair ended right before the turn of the century (from 1800s to 1900s). I thought Lydia was a woman ahead of her time. There’s a lot of back and forth about “stations” and “class” for the various characters in the story.
I enjoyed the story. It had enough twists and turns to keep me reading. Thanks to Zondervan for providing me an advance copy to review in my own words.