Hearts on Fire by Audrey Pembroke
Set in Dorset in 1834, against a background of political unrest, Hearts on Fire is a novel that draws from historical events to create a gripping and unforgettable love story. The story takes place during a time when poverty was rife and demonstrations were quashed with harsh punishments. One group of men, known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, stood alone battling the perverse wage cuts that had reduced their families to starvation. For daring to swear an oath of fidelity to their cause, these men were sentenced to seven years’ transportation. This led to thousands of people marching through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom.
Against this turbulent political background, Audrey’s protagonist Hetty Cauldon is determined to escape her poverty. She dreams of a life with Will Freer, a young quarryman whose ambition is to succeed in business, but her love is unrequited. The two become caught up in the cause for the Tolpuddle Martyrs, both with a yearning for something beyond their reach and embark on a journey of self-recognition until they find their true selves.
Inspired by Audrey’s love of history in general, and local history in particular, Hearts on Fire is the sequel to Hearts of Stone and uses extensive historical research to inform the events of the story. It will be enjoyed by fans of historical and romance fiction, as well as any with a fondness for Dorset.