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Reviewed by Maureen Dangarembizi for Readers' Favorite
Proof of Virtue by Leila Snow is a historical romance set in Manchester, 1848. Emma Belden has a monumental task on her hands; an orphaned young woman herself and penniless to boot, she has to take care of her four-year-old siblings. Master Seeley’s poorhouse is the last place Emma would have chosen to live, but she has no other means to feed and clothe the twins. But her living nightmare is about to become a fiery hell when her classic beauty captures the attention of the depraved factory owner, Edward Wells. Only one man can save her, but will he risk everything for a fallen woman?
Leila Snow has taken me from my comfort zone and dragged me back to the poor house, a place I last visited in high school while reading Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The experience was just as heartbreaking as the first time, if not more so. Don’t get me wrong. Proof of Virtue has a happy ending which is made more eloquent by the previous sufferings of the heroine. This book is not for the faint of heart though, as it contains elements of forced seduction, highlights the bleak suffering of the poor, and the unfair invincibility that comes with great wealth. Proof of Virtue touched my heart and inspired me. There is still hope in the world when those in power choose to use it for good. I loved the characters in this book, even the evil ones, because they were so well-written. Leila Snow is an author to look out for when choosing historical romance stories. Bodice ripper fans will enjoy this book.