"Amy Snow" by Tracy Rees is a fantastic book for someone who enjoys regency era but not regency romance.
A small babe is found in the snow by Aurelia, a young heiress on a large estate. Aurelia brings her inside and informs her parents that she is keeping the baby and names her Amy Snow. From that point on, feisty Aurelia loves Amy. By the rest of the household, she is seen as a second-class citizen. Especially by Aurelia's mother, who has not been able to hold on to a pregnancy since Aurelia.
Aurelia and Amy have a strong bond that eventually earns Amy a place as Aurelia's handmaid. Then Aurelia becomes sick and the household is heartbroken, knowing she will die young and probably never marry. While Aurelia is still in relatively good health, and in order to avoid a marriage to a man she doesn't love, she leaves on a trip around England with her aunt. Amy is left behind, feeling confused and heartbroken.
It isn't long after Aurelia returns that she passes away. In her will, she leaves Amy a letter. A letter with a secret. By deciphering the hidden message, Amy is thrust into a treasure hunt. Following clues, Amy learns how to stand on her own and also uncovers more secrets she never knew Aurelia was hiding.
The interaction between Amy and Aurelia were so authentic. I wished I could read more about Aurelia before she died. She was such a head-strong character. Amy was fun to follow because of her growing self-awareness. There is a love-story element and it was almost too much for me. But it wasn't the typical regency romance. Phew.
Then ending, though I had guessed at it early, was still rewarding and fitting. A good read for those who enjoy treasure hunts with clues dropped along the way, mixed with regency and a little romance.