This is book 1 of The Honeycote Series.
Anabelle Honeycote is a seamstress on Bond Street that is barely making enough money to feed her mother, sister and herself. Her mother's medical expenses have to be paid and she is behind in her rent. As a seamstress, Anabelle (Belle to her friends and family) overhears lots of gossips while making the necessary adjustments to her customers gowns. On the occasions when she is truly desperate, she uses this information to blackmail the "offender" asking only for enough money so that she and her family can survive.
Belle's latest bit of gossip is about the sister of Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford. When Owen gets the blackmail letter, he can't believe that someone is trying to harm his sister with this bit of gossip. He sets out to trap the blackmailer at the drop off point. To Owen's surprise, it is a woman that he captures and it's none other that the seamstress that is making his sister's dressing.
Belle and Owen strike a deal. Belle will move into the Duke's home to make a whole new wardrobe for his sisters in exchange for not turning Belle into the authorities. As much as each of them is attracted to the other, they face the obstacle of their stations. A seamstress can not get involved with a Duke!
After reading this book, I was surprised to find out that this was a debut novel. It was very well written and I often found myself laughing out loud at times and toward the end of the book their were a couple of tears. Belle's sister, Daphne, is the star of book 2 and I can't wait to read it.