It starts with the girl working in a fake antiquity-making factory where she drops a large and heavy vase, shattering it. She had a heavy labour kind of work. It was a very dreary setting. Workers were paid a pittance and the owner's wife distributed as minimal food as it was possible.
When she drops the vase, the owner comes out and is angry enough that he takes out a whip to hit her. She expects to be stricken, but the male protagonist holds the whip with his hands. Some talk later, he gives the owner some money and takes the girl to his carriage.
She had purple/violet eyes and was a late teenager (16-19 yrs). She masqueraded as a boy to find work to support her ageing grandparents and little boys (her brothers?). She wasn't tall and was easily mistaken for a 12year old boy.
The male protagonist/love interest was an older gentleman (easily above 30). He was noble (as in earl/marquis). He helped the girl out of goodwill. He thought it was a boy, not a girl (due to getup). He hears her story and offers the female lead a job as personal valet/worker at his mansion. He also finds work for her family as a caretaker (or something) in one of his lands. He only realises that the female protagonist is a girl when he accidentally rides by a secret lake where the girl used to swim naked (halfway through the story). Before that, he considers the lead a very effete boy and thinks he feels something for his valet who happens to be a boy. He feels a bit disgusted with himself for falling for a very young boy.
This guy had an old personal valet, the girl was a worker in the house and a valet-in-training. I remember a scene (don't judge) where the girl undresses the lord (what you expect from a valet) and helps him dress up. It was a very in-lord scene typical for a noble of that era, but most Regency heroes don't have personal valets.
This person also had a close friendship with another lord. His friend was a typical rakish/proud lord (the author had 2nd book on Inkitt about him), as you expect in Regency novels. He is the first to find that the valet is a girl because she falls over him or something (but keeps this a secret).
All this time, the male lead thinks he has to marry (societal norms), if not out of love then to have a women marquess kind of role. There was a small group of women (vying to be married) with their close family invited to stay at his home. We see lot of competition and typical maneuvering of the nobles.
I barely remember anything from the last chapters except that the male lead knew the girls' mother. One of the prospective bride's family had close links with the girl's past (they were villains). It has a happy ending.
The male and female protagonists had POV but in the third person. The girl was referred with she/her pronouns in both their PoVs. It was confusing because in the starting male lead didn't know about the actual identity of the girl. The girl was referred with he/him pronouns when the male protagonist actively thought about her and addressed her.
There were a few NSFW (not safe for work) scenes in the book. The book has a very catchy Regency-style cover. I think, the author has published the book so maybe it's not on Wattpad anymore.
Genre Regency, Romance, a bit of mystery due to girl's past
Title Don't know. The book is first in series. The author's second book was also on Inkitt whose protagonist was the close friend of this book's protagonist. And this books leads make a cameo in the second one.
Time read between 2018-2021
Status It was fully completed and free at that time. I think the author had published her books too.
Cover Can't remember except that it has a very catchy regency style cover.