The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell
The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses. Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a substantial dowry. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he is deployed to war. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners she finds deceit, dissipation and vice. Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which threatens utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors, irrevocably separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate.