Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Gilded Age Girls Club, #3
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Young and in love with Wes Dalton, Beatrice Goodwin makes a decision that changes her life and sets Dalton on a journey to gain revenge. Years have passed since Wes asked her to run away with him and she has barely thought of him in the sixteen years she has been gone – but now she is back in New York, a scandalous divorcee who threw over a duke and dared to be her own woman. She is stunned to learn the poor boy she loved is now one of New York’s richest men and is trying to buy her family’s store – the store she has come back to run – the store that is to be her dream, her mission, her independence! Former love or not, there is no way Beatrice is going to surrender without a fight!
For sixteen long years, Wes Dalton has devoted his entire life to revenge against the woman who broke his heart and her family. He took the payoff her mother offered when she got engaged to the duke and turned it into an empire. He is now the third richest man in New York City and has a department store that is so well known, he doesn’t even have his name on the building. His crowning achievement is at hand – Edward Goodwin (Bea’s brother and current President of Goodwin’s) wants to sell the store and Dalton is going to buy it and destroy it. But his grand plans are thwarted when Bea sweeps in and says that she will not let Edward sell the store – she checked with a lawyer and it was clear in her father’s will that both she and her mother have to agree to a sale. She then takes things further and has her brother committed to get treatment for his drinking and takes over as President in his absence.
Dalton finds himself exhilarated by the prospect of going up against Bea and welcomes the competition. But soon he realizes that revenge was never what he really wanted and he needs to decide what he is willing to pay to get what he really wants. For her part, Bea will find herself and hopefully realize that her dreams and success won’t keep her warm at night or ward off loneliness before it’s too late and she is left with nothing.
I really enjoyed this story, I loved that they didn’t have a misunderstanding in their past – they both made choices and stood by them. I loved catching up with the Ladies of Liberty and I thought some of Bea’s stunts were awesome. I was rooting for her at the beginning and loved that she didn’t give up on her dream. And Wes – OMG – LOVED HIM, he was funny, smart and pretty much perfect. The book has a lot of emotion, a little intrigue, a villain I didn’t see coming, some steamy love scenes, some serious girl power and a very sweet HEA. My only complaint is I felt Bea held onto her past experience a little too long and had an all or nothing attitude – like there is no compromising when you love someone – it made her come off a bit selfish – but it all works out in the end. This is the third book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone. I am happy to recommend this book and hope there are more installments to come!!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley/Edelweiss and the publisher.*