Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Never a Wallflower, #2
Release Date: August 23, 2022
William Easton, the Duke of Blackheath is a brilliant statesman with a bright political career and he has a secret that he would never confess to anyone and even tries to deny it to himself, that secret is he greatly admires Lady Beatrice Haven. She is smart, outspoken, unconventional, and unashamedly feminist, and since she is the cousin of the woman his brother hopes to marry, unavoidable. She writes to him constantly urging him to support women’s rights, a cause he is happy to support. But William learned long ago that love is a myth and marriage is hell, so despite his attraction to the lovely Lady Beatrice, without offering marriage, there is no possibility of him acting on his attraction.
Wealthy, independent, and smart, Lady Beatrice has no desire to give the little freedom she is afforded to any man and she too has a secret, that despite all her protestations about men and marriage, she is a romantic and will settle for nothing less than a love match like her parents shared. And while the duke intrigues her like no man ever has, she senses a sadness in him and knows that he doesn’t believe in love, so logically, he is not the man for her. But when her circumstances change and William offers a marriage of convenience, she accepts and tries to keep her heart in check. But soon is it clear that she is falling for him and that her love will be the reason she loses him unless he can open his heart before their chance at HEA passes them by.
This was a very well-written, emotional story featuring a cast of very likable and relatable characters. The story has a secondary romance woven into Beatrice and William’s story, but it adds to the story rather than becoming a distraction, additionally, there is plenty of witty banter, interesting historical facts, lots of familial love, emotional healing, steamy love scenes, and finally a lovely HEA complete with an epilogue. I will admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Beatrice at the beginning, she was a bit too aggressive for my taste, but as the story unfolded, my opinion changed and by the end of the book, I greatly admired her. This is the second book in the series, but the books are very loosely connected and can be read as standalone titles. I enjoyed this story and am happy to recommend this title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*