The Blurb (from Goodreads):
London, 1920s: Kit Scott, a privileged young Australian aiming to become a star, arrives in the city to find the Jazz Age in full swing. Cast in a West End play opposite another young hopeful, Canadian Zeke Gardiner, she dances blithely into the heady lifestyle of English high society and the London theatre set, from Noel Coward to Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele.
When Kit is photographed dancing the Charleston alongside the Prince of Wales, she finds herself at the centre of a major scandal, sending the Palace into damage control and Kit to her aristocratic English relatives – and into the arms of the hedonistic Lord Henry Carleton. Amid the excesses of the Roaring Twenties, both Zeke and Kit are faced with temptations – and make choices that will alter the course of their lives forever.
A delightful historical romance, The Charleston Scandal tells the story of a young Australian actress trying to make her way in the glamorous world of the theatre in 1920s London. Kit Scott comes from a privileged background, with her father being the Dean of the St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney. She has always yearned for a life on the stage, however, and so is ecstatic when she wins the role of an ingenue in a West End play. She dances, sings, and acts alongside a young Canadian named Zeke, who has a very different back story to hers – he comes from poverty and violence and sends much of what he earns back to his struggling mother in Canada. Kit is drawn to him, but their backgrounds are very different, and it seems the gap is too large to bridge. Matters are further complicated when she inadvertently sparks a scandal by being photographed dancing the Charleston next to the Prince of Wales. She is strong-armed by the Palace into pretending to be dating a charming but spoilt young aristocrat who draws her into a fast set that threatens to turn her head and make her choice of career even more difficult than it already is. I particularly enjoyed the vibrant cameo appearances from Noel Coward, Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, and the future King Edward & Mrs Simpson. Pamela Hart has such a deft, light touch & explores deeper issues of women’s empowerment, post-war malaise, gender fluidity & class without once sacrificing pace and verve. Top-notch!
You might also like to read my review of The Desert Nurse by Pamela Hart: