Sisterhood, family, loyalty, belonging, and art: The Fledgling Series

The Fledgling series book follow the women of one interconnected family after the father realizes he faces financial ruin. With a few months before the ton learn that he has become insolvent, the Thompsons prepare one last London Season with the goal of marrying their three oldest charges, and at least one of them in a position that she will be able to assume guardianship for the youngest sister. The young women are like fledglings: pushed abruptly out of the nest, when they have not had a chance to fully prepare themselves. 

Rose, Henrietta, and Marianne are the three Thompson sisters. Celia is their older cousin, a ward of the Thompsons when the story opens. Celia ends up taking guardianship of Marianne, as well as her sister-in-law Helen.

All five books are an exploration of the Marriage of Convenience romance trope, as well as Slow Burn romances. All feature wide casts of characters, with relationships with family members and friendships featuring beside the romance. They are also all Women’s Fiction novels, and each main character explores how to hold onto her identity – and perhaps, what her identity really is – while becoming a wife. 

Representation matters. The collection of important characters includes Black and Indian characters, both heroes and heroines with different body types (fat, short, etc), and characters who are asexual, lesbian, bisexual, and demisexual. Sometimes this is a main focus in the story and sometimes it is merely present.

Fledgling Series #1: Celia’s Book

The Domestic Diplomat

(1820): Shy Anglo-Irish Celia vows to marry in a last attempt to save her beloved cousins from ruin, but her brother leads her into a dark garden where her repellent, rejected suitor is determined to claim Celia for himself. 

Her enigmatic friend Peter has sworn up and down that he cannot help her, so why is he the one who arrives in time to rescue her? 

Pressured to marry, when Celia unwinds her new husband’s mysteries, she realizes that Peter is the one who needs rescuing… if she can reclaim her confidence and use her long-hidden diplomatic skills to build a bridge to their future.

WFWA Rising Star Finalist Award

Fledgling Series #2: Rose’s Book

Letters to Istanbul

When Rose boards a ship from London to Istanbul, leaving behind everything familiar and good, she is not even sure if Owen Featherstone loves her – or is offering to marry her just to be polite. 

When Lillianna finds a loving partner after she is widowed, she is willing to follow Jimini Featherstone anywhere – even Istanbul.

But life in the cosmopolitan city on the Silk Road is hardly simple for the sheltered English gentlewomen. Introverted Rose realizes she doesn’t know anything about building relationships, and Lillianna doesn’t dare leave her compound alone. They need to reach out beyond the charismatic Featherstone siblings and create their own community.

 When Jimini makes some spontaneous decisions and Owen encounters tragedy, Rose and Lillianna need to count on their own strengths… and they need to have faith in what love really means to them.

Fledgling Series #3: Henrietta’s Book

Henrietta just wants to be in control of her own life, and she’s always been willing to make compromises to get it. She accepts an arranged marriage, which Henrietta didn’t mind – but she didn’t realize how much her emotions would get involved.

Simon adored his first wife, but the marriage was a failure even before he was widowed. This time, he just needs someone practical. Henrietta has practicality in spades, but what stuns Simon is the way she is loyal without judgment. 

The two fiercely independent people are falling a little bit in love – but what happens when Henrietta is forced to choose between protecting her sister or her new husband?

Fledgling Series #4: Marianne’s Book

Part 1:  Marianne just wants the world to be fair for everyone, and if people would just listen to her, she is sure that poverty and injustice would end. Running as fast as she can from what she views as a narrow, disgustingly privileged background, she ends up trusting the wrong people. Can Marianne escape her background – and would it save her now if she could?

Part 2: With both Marianne and her guardian, Celia, reeling from recent tragedy, Marianne makes a practical decision that is time for her to get married. Being Marianne, she follows her feelings and leaps with both feet, and arrives in a household completely unprepared. Celia has trained her well, and Marianne copes with the practical aspects, but soon finds that her nightmares are starting all over again. But this time Marianne isn’t just fighting for herself, and she isn’t just fighting by herself. Is Marianne’s big heart enough to grow beyond the tragedy which she has failed to escape before?

Fledgling Series #5: Helen’s Book

Helen moved halfway around the world to escape from her father’s reach, and when he tries to force her to come home, she decides to do the one thing that can sever his authority over her: get married. Immediately. She ends up with an officer who has been in charge of Indian negotiations, and William has the expertise and patience to see through the prickly defenses that Helen has built around herself. When Helen returns to England, she is physically safe with her husband’s protection, but the ghosts of her past threaten to overwhelm her – and break apart her brand new marriage.