The following is from Goodreads:
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….
I went into this book not really knowing much about it other than the fact that it’s a historical romance novel set in the Victorian era. And usually that’s not something that makes me want to pick the book up being that I’m not really into historical fiction. But I figured I’d give it a try since there were some really good reviews on Goodreads from people whom I trust.
Though it took me a while to actually want to pick it up. It wasn’t until last month for the Magical Readathon when I decided that it was probably time to read it. Even if it was one of the last books I got to read and finish for the readathon. And that I had to listen to it on audiobook in order to get through it. I originally didn’t think I would be able to get to it if I hadn’t listened to the audiobook.
But when I finally did pick it up, I really enjoyed it more than I expected I would. I especially liked the main character, Annabelle. She was such a headstrong and determined person. Just the fact that she was fighting for some women’s rights for voting and such in a time when it was outrageous to even think about women in that aspect was pretty brilliant. I think that was my favorite part of the story honestly. I liked seeing that perspective of history, even if it was in a fictional setting.
And the romance had just the right amount of angst. Although, I’d have to say the romance, in my opinion, wasn’t my favorite. But I can’t really put my finger on why. It didn’t feel forced or too fast, but there was something about it that put me off. I mean, I can understand why they couldn’t be together throughout most of the story, but that wasn’t the issue. Maybe it was the fact that they slept together too quickly. I knew it wasn’t going to be just a fluffy romance. It was pretty steamy in parts, but the steamy parts happened in the middle, where I was expecting them maybe more towards the end? Maybe that’s just me. I wasn’t sold on it after that.
That was the reason I took off a star. Other than that part of the story, I really enjoyed the book as a whole. It had really good banter between the two main characters that was both witty and funny. I enjoyed the historical aspects, even though the politics kind of went over my head.
So if you’re interested in historical fiction or romance, I definitely think you’d like this book. Even if you’re not interested in historical fiction, I think it’s worth the read.
Have you read this book? What’d you think about it? I’d love to discuss it in the comments below!