Theodora by Christina McKnight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Theodora is a fun, sweet and romatic historical romance which I received a free copy of from Barclay and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Lady Theodora is a cunning, smart and independent girl who went to boarding school with her three roommates and friends. Her story is a first in the Lady Archer's Creed series. Each of them bumps against the norms and treatment of women during their time where it is against the "norm" for women to study anything scholarly. Even most women think that a girl should be trained in the "womanly" arts like needlepoint and music. It is okay to practice archery as long as it is in private surroundings. A woman should never be seen playing at things that are for men in public. This goes against the grain for Theodora and her friends because they can think of no other way to raise the money to help their alma mater that taught them so many of the things they have come to love like science, math and sports. Of course, the men that sent them there are not quite aware of just what they were taught.
Theodora's brother, Cart is her champion. He pushes her to study and practice the things he sees she is just as capable, if not more capable, of excelling at like map topography. She studies with her brother who opens doors for her that most other women do not have opportunities to walk through. Of course, this goes against what her mother plans for her which is to marry her off to someone she feels is worthy of their level in society, or the "ton". I'm wondering if the ton is called that because the obligations it puts upon the members feels like carrying a ton on your shoulders.
Alistair has not inherited his title and is responsible for his 8 siblings, one of which is ready for her introduction to society and happens to be one of Theodora's best mates. Theodora spends a great deal of time bumping heads with Alistair, though he is more progressive in his thoughts for women also. He still works to protect his sisters' and his family's reputation in society. The constant run-ins have led to feelings that each had not planned on and the story shows that this is going to be a great series with a great kick-off story in Theodora.