Much like The Bromance Book Club series, I can't believe I've never mentioned my love of Evie Dunmore's historical romance series, A League of Extraordinary Women. Seeing as how the third book recently came out, I figured it's the perfect time to rectify that.
|Pub Date: 9-3-19|
Adult - Historical Romance
Bringing Down the Duke: Annabelle Archer has earned a position as one of the first female students able to study at the prestigious University of Oxford. Unfortunately, due to lacking funds, Annabelle must keep up a scholarship by helping support the women's suffragist movement. Her mission is to recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Everything was going smoothly until Annabelle meets to cold Duke of Montgomery, Sebastian Devereux. After receiving an invitation to visit Sebastian's home, Annabelle is determined to win the duke over. Sebastian needs to find a wife of good breeding to secure the legacy he's fought so hard to rebuild, and he knows he should stay far away from the brash, outspoken Annabelle. The pair quickly butt heads, but neither can deny the fierce attraction sparking between them, and maybe what they both have been looking for has been right in front of them the whole time.
This was so charming and fun! I loved the whole setting and Annabelle as a character. She's so intelligent and independent and super feisty. Her relationship with Sebastian was so dynamic and I loved watching it grow. I also really enjoyed Annabelle's friend group, they all seemed to genuinely care for one another even though they weren't all from the same societal stations. This was such a solid smart debut, and I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
|Pub Date: 9-1-20|
Adult - Historical Romance
A Rogue of Own's Own: Lady Lucie had a plan. She and her fellow suffragettes were going to purchase one of London's major publishing houses to plant articles to help further their cause for women's rights. What she hadn't planned on was Lord Tristan Ballentine, her old nemesis, standing in her way. As the second shareholder, Tristan has the power to veto anything that Lucie has in mind. She desperately tries to negotiate for full control, and to her surprise, Tristan is more than willing to give up his ownership--for one night spent in her bed. Tristan has a reputation for being a rake, but the only woman he's ever felt a real attraction for has been Lucie, and he's determined to show her the spark between them is more than just annoyance. When Lucie starts spending more time with Tristan and shirking her responsibilities, she has to decide if her cause is worth more than her heart.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke, so I was highly anticipating this follow up, and I'm so happy it delivered. Lucie is so determined and headstrong in her fight for women's rights. I really enjoy the passion she had for the cause and her friendships as well. She was so feisty and willing to do whatever it takes to get to where she needs to go. I loved how despite showing a tough exterior, she had such a soft, vulnerable side as well, and a lot of that was brought out by Tristan. I'm always a fan of hate-to-love romances and theirs was no exception. I loved how sassy both were, and how they eventually brought out the best in each other. Once again, Dunmore brought it with the top-notch banter and swoon-worthy moments.
|Pub Date: 9-7-21|
Adult - Historical Romance
Portrait of a Scotsman: Hattie Greenfield has always dreamed of marrying her best friend. Someone she can read books with, drink hot chocolate with, and roam around Italy with admiring the artwork. But she finds her dreams dashed after being caught in a compromising position with the notorious Lucian Blackstone. Lucian is a feared businessman, and he knows a good opportunity when he sees it, so he agrees to marry Hattie believing she'll be able to open doors that high society would rather stay locked to him. Hattie was willing to make the best out of their situation, until she discovered Lucian has been harboring quite a few secrets from her, especially in regards to their meeting. Heartbroken and embarrassed, Hattie demands an annulment, but Lucian isn't one to let go of his investments. When the pair travel to Scotland and are forced into cramped quarters, Hattie is determined to keep up her frosty facade, but then Lucian begins to show her he's more than the blackhearted rogue society has painted him to be. With their trip winding down, Hattie will have to decide if her future lies with Lucian or elsewhere.
After loving the other two books in this series, I was highly anticipating this one, but it sadly wasn't my favorite. I didn't connect with Hattie at all, and truthfully, found her quite irritating for the majority of this. She had that feistiness that I've come to expect in Dunmore's main ladies, but she lacked the gumption of the others. There was something about her that I just didn't love but can't quite put my finger on. However, I did appreciate her growth and how she came into herself by the end. I thought the relationship between her and Lucian was fine and though there were some cute moments, it felt a bit average. I found myself waiting for that big moment that would make me swoon, but I just never got it. I think most of my disconnect with this one was due to the plot. It felt very centered around business and Lucian's dealings with the coal mine, and that just wasn't interesting to me. Then there was the typical third-act drama every romance has which felt so random and misplaced here. I still adore this series and will be counting down the days until the next one, but this one just didn't do it for me.