Historical

A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2)

A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2)

By: Evie Dunmore

Blurb:

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

Review:

I was two-thirds of the way through this book before I started liking it. It was well written, and I enjoyed parts, but it didn’t live up to the previous book.

Lucie, the heroine, was not very likable. She was dedicated to the Cause to the detriment of everything else. She was furious, and rightfully so, but several times she lashed out at people who didn’t deserve it. She also wasn’t as smart as she was described.

Lucie maneuvered things so that her people were in an incredible position to change things, but instead, she wanted to burn it all to the ground in one move. It wasn’t until I was two hundred pages into the book that she finally realized the position she was in. I want to say she wasn’t thinking long term, but she was, so it was frustrating that she didn’t in this one area.

Maybe I’m too critical of her. I wanted to like her, but her stubbornness, and often time’s meanness, pushed me away. She was resistant to anything that wasn’t her way.

Tristan was your usual rogue rake. He was ridiculously handsome, tortured, and had hidden depths. He was also very privileged, and it took him several moments of that being blatantly pointed out before he realized just how much. His own life was difficult, so it was hard for him to see how much better it was than others.

There were several things I thought A Rogue of One’s Own did very well, specifically, Tristan’s moments of realization. It also seemed very well researched when it came to the suffragette movement. I liked how the book ended, as well. It allowed the couple to be together without Lucie abandoning her convictions. They were a nice couple, in the end, and I intend to read the next book in the series. I’m less excited about it than I was previously, though.

3/5

Say Yes to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #5)

Say Yes to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #5)

By: Eloisa James

Blurb:

Miss Viola Astley is so painfully shy that she’s horrified by the mere idea of dancing with a stranger; her upcoming London debut feels like a nightmare.

So she’s overjoyed to meet handsome, quiet vicar with no interest in polite society — but just when she catches his attention, her reputation is compromised by a duke.

Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, Duke of Wynter, will stop at nothing to marry Viola, including marrying a woman whom he believes to be in love with another man.

A vicar, no less.

Devin knows he’s no saint, but he’s used to conquest, and he’s determined to win Viola’s heart.

Viola has already said Yes to his proposal, but now he wants her unruly heart…and he won’t accept No for an answer.

Review:

This is the fifth book in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series, and so far, the series has remained remarkably consistent. The family is entertaining to read, and seeing little peeks into past relationships is always enjoyable. Ultimately, I hope that the oldest brother who died in a bog ends up returning to life in the last book, but we’ll see.

Viola is the step-child of the Duke of Lindow. Technically, she’s not of noble birth, but they’ve always considered her family. Since the rest of society isn’t as nice, she knows that her family is some of the few who think of her that way. So she’s got a bit of an anxiety problem.

Meanwhile, Devin had parents who hated each other. His mother died when he was relatively young, and his father challenged everyone he could to a duel. It was not a very healthy environment for a child, but that seems to be the life of a lot of dukes.

There were more than a few conversations eavesdropped on, and those were some of the best scenes. Viola was a wonderful heroine, she could be a bit shy and anxious, but she was never really that way with Devin. I like it when that’s done well, and it was here.

They made a great couple. The story was nice and sweet, with several steamy moments. All in all, I found it a very enjoyable book.

4/5

The Duke Who Didn’t (Wedgeford Trials #1)

The Duke Who Didn’t (Wedgeford Trials #1)

By: Courtney Milan

Blurb:

Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night.

Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe. In his defense, it took him years of attempting to be serious to realize that the endeavor was incompatible with his personality.

All he has to do is convince Chloe to make room for a mischievous trickster in her life, then disclose that in all the years they’ve known each other, he’s failed to mention his real name, his title… and the minor fact that he owns her entire village.

Only one thing can go wrong: Everything.

Review:

The Duke Who Didn’t was a much-anticipated book from Courtney Milan. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors, so I had this baby pre-ordered, and as soon as I caught up with my library books, I started reading.

Chloe lives in Wedgeford, a town famous for its trials. A complicated sounding, day-long quest to find specific medallions or tokens. I’m not sure about all the rules because this year, Chloe and Jeremy didn’t participate. Instead, Chloe helped her father introduce his life’s work, a special sauce, to all the trials’ participants. The plan was to sell the amazing sauce, build a sauce empire, and enact revenge on the racist pricks that stole her father’s original sauce before kicking him to the curb. I can completely get behind this plan.

Poor Jeremy wants nothing more than to make Chloe happy. He’s jovial to Chloe’s more serious nature. He’s learned to be that way after years of dealing with poisonous people. Humor seems to be a coping mechanism. It’s also something he’s good at. He’s been coming to Wedgeford for years because it’s the only place in all of Britain where he feels like he belongs. The only problem is he’s conveniently forgotten to tell them he’s the duke and owns their entire village.

I loved the ending to The Duke Who Didn’t so much. I loved that Chloe was the grouchy one of the two and that Jeremy was always trying to make her happy. I loved their relationship, not only with each other but with their family. I loved how Chloe reacted to the big reveal. I loved how everything played out. It was perfect.

I’m looking forward to learning more about Wedgeford and their trials. There were other characters mentioned and spoken to, but there was very little focus on them. The book was very much centered on Chloe and Jeremy. Still, that doesn’t make me any less excited for the rest of the series.

5/5

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits #2)

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits #2)

By: Olivia Waite

Blurb:

When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous…

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk. Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores—and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Review:

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows was a slow burn romance. Once it got going though…shoo. The two heroines are in their mid-forties, which was a new one for me. Romances, at least the ones I’ve read, tend to be thirties and below. It was nice to see someone middle-aged get a second chance for love.

Agatha is bisexual. She’s a widow who loved her husband and loves her son. She works hard at the print shop she owns to provide for her family to keep them safe. It’s a very volatile period, especially for someone in her line of work. It was honestly very interesting to read about.

Penelope is a lesbian who has married a man who is in love with her brother. Her brother and husband sail the sea hunting whales, living the life of a married couple, while she stays at home alone. For the most part, it works for her, but she is lonely.

There’s an almost instant attraction for the couple, but because of the time and their personal histories neither woman is sure where the other stands. Lots of hinting and angst happen before things are able to progress.

They’re a cute couple, and there’s a lot of passion. I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the side characters, though. Penelope’s brother and husband were cute. Agatha’s son was annoying, and more often than not, I wanted to slap him. A character from the previous book made an appearance, but you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one.

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows further cements my enjoyment of Olivia Waite. I pre-ordered it because I enjoyed The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics so much, and I was not disappointed. I will definitely be pre-ordering the next.

4.5/5

Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)

Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)

By: Eloise James

Blurb:

One little wager will determine their fate—a daring escape or falling into temptation with a rakish lord.

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

Review:

Betsy and Jeremy made a nice couple, and I liked that they didn’t fall into bed quickly. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles, but it was fairly obvious, from the beginning, that the duke never stood a chance.

Betsy has been haunted by the fact that her mother abandoned her children for a man she wasn’t married to. So Betsy set out to prove that she was as far from her mother as possible. She was the belle of the ton and turned down numerous proposals. She decided to either never wed to prove society wrong, that blood will not, in fact, tell, or marry someone and live a passionless existence. Thankfully, that gets worked out.

Jeremy is how from war and dealing with PTSD. He spends most of his days drinking in the billiards room, conveniently Betsy’s favorite place.

Say No to the Duke has lots of banter and great side characters. Betsy’s adventure is a bit disappointing but probably realistic. There was a surprise reveal at the end, which added some excitement. Overall, it was entertaining.

4/5