Thank you to Berley for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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….(Goodreads)
I haven’t read a historical romance in a while, and after reading this one, I am asking myself why! I absolutely loved this book. If you are like me and have read a historical romance beor you will recognize some of the familiar tropes, poor woman rich man, cold-hearted duke, outspoken female, and even though these were all present and I have read hundreds of books with these same tropes, this one felt different.
Some of that might be that this was set against the backdrop of women’s suffrage. I have to admit that images of the original Mary Poppins popped into my mind when I started reading. But I enjoyed having a bit of history. I am much more familiar with the movement in the US, but really had no idea about the movement in England.
Annabelle and Sebastian were just perfect! I loved their chemistry, and that they each had baggage to deal with. Annabelle was such a strong character, she would not compromise her values even for love. And Sebastian, well he was everything I could have hoped for and more
If you are looking for a feel-good romance, you should pick this one up!
Overall Rating: 5