Emmanuelle de Maupassant recently launched her saucy 1920s comedy romance romp Highland Pursuits.
Like her Gentlemen’s Club, which explores the hypocrisy of Victorian society and restrictions placed upon women, ‘Highland Pursuits’ focuses on a woman making her own choices, flying in the face of social expectations.
In this case, it’s 1928, and defiant debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to the Highlands of Scotland, having refused a marriage proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. Ophelia isn’t willing to marry just to please her mother, and certainly not to a man she finds sexually unappealing.
Removed to such a remote and unsophistcated location, Ophelia is expected to come to her senses. However, rather than deciding to return to London, to toe the line, she discovers a new independence at Castle Kintochlochie, under the guidance of her grandmother, Lady Morag.
Instead of being consigned to an ill-matched marriage, why shouldn’t Ophelia take over the governance of the Castle and the wider estate?
With her sassy grandmother as her model, Ophelia realizes that, rather than being closed in, doors are opening to her.
A bizarre selection of suitors are soon presenting themselves, but Ophelia remains one step ahead, until she begins to harbor feelings for Hamish, the Castle’s estate manager. To Ophelia’s annoyance, he’s already spoken for, and glamorous French coquette Felicité has no intention of letting ruggedly attractive Hamish slip from the service of her bed.
Intrigue abounds, as Ophelia discovers that there’s more to her rival than meets the eye, and that the Castle is a hotbed of illicit cavorting.
This comedy of manners is a battle-cry for all young women on the path to self-discovery and independence. Follow feisty Ophelia, as she navigates her way through sexual minefields, coming to a place of awareness, and wisdom.
I have had the pleasure of reading ‘Highland Pursuits’ and I can completely vouch for its gorgeousness. It is a beautifully constructed tale, taking us on a journey of sexual discovery that coincides with a social one. I thoroughly enjoyed the historical theme, from the cultural details that reflected the minutiae of the lives of the upper classes, to the comedy of manners that evolved between Ophelia and the suitors, particularly her and Hamish, as Ophelia weaves a pathway through her new life in Scotland.
Emmanuelle has created some colourful characters here. I knew I’d love Hamish from the start, precisely because he appears as deliberately awkward from the beginning! There are some superbly drawn male tropes, just as one would expect from a book such as this, with its lighthearted style. But what I particularly like is the portrayal of the women, not just of Ophelia, but the older generation of highland women who prove that they have more feminist tendencies than society would probably give them credit for, and advocate women’s sexual freedom, and indeed independence at every level.
I have no intention of spoiling the plot for you. But if you like the idea of a fun, lusciously detailed romp through the loves and lusts of 1920s upper class highlanders with a touch of the erotic, then you’ll love this book.
Emmanuelle invites you to drop your name in the hat for a signed paperback copy of ‘Highland Pursuits’ (sign up here).
Meanwhile, ‘Highland Pursuits’ is free from 22-26th May. What are you waiting for?!
(download your copy from Amazon HERE).
If you’re reading this post a little bit late for catching the free download, don’t worry – ‘High;and Pursuits’ will be free again from 17-21st June.
What other readers are saying
I can’t tell you how much I love this book. It was a true delight to read. The author has captured 1920s Britain wonderfully, and her detail is exquisite. – Rachel De Vine
As a comedy of manners, this is exceptionally well done. – Fionna Guillaume
Highland Pursuits is a wry, clever, incredibly sexy romp… a completely engrossing, utterly enjoyable read. I can’t recommend it highly enough…fabulously fun – Malin James
The scene was set beautifully… I felt like I went back in time to high society Scotland – Christine of Sweet and Spicy Reads
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