Hi Hi Hi Bookworms,
It has been FIFTY WEEKS? Of 2020? Look at me, being awesome at New Year’s Resolutions. And look at 2020 being objectively terrible. Nobody likes a pandemic, you accursed year! That said, if I look really closely, and like squint? I can see a few upsides to this dumpster fire. One of them being the blessed escapism of books, naturally. Let’s talk about some.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore- I so enjoy a Regency romance novel, so when I saw there was a sale on Bringing Down the Duke, I snagged myself a copy. Annabelle Archer is brilliant, but poor. In a world where only male heirs inherit even modest fortunes, Annabelle is treated like household staff by her awful family (and ill-treated household staff at that) until she’s granted a scholarship to become part of the first female cohort at Oxford. Her scholarship is provided by a women’s suffrage group, and in exchange for it, Annabelle is expected to support the organization. When an attraction between Annabelle and Sebastian, Duke of Montgomery develops, the Suffragists ask her to use his interest in her to sway his influence in parliament toward their cause. Which is awesome, because the actual flipping Queen wants him to do exactly the opposite. Will a Duke and a completely unsuitable woman find happily ever after? Well. Obviously. But it takes some doing. If you like Regency romance, give this one a whirl!
The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel- Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer relentlessly climbing the career ladder. Her relationship with her overbearing father is difficult to say the least, but she generally tolerates family dinners so she can visit with her beloved mother. Until, that is, Liya is ambushed into a matchmaking session. The minute she discovers that her parents intend to set her up with an eligible bachelor at what she thought to be a private family dinner, Liya bolts. As she’s making her escape, she crashes straight into Jay, her would-be match, and scatters the dessert he was carrying all over the lawn. Embarrassing, sure, but it’s not like she’s ever going to see him again… Until he turns up at Liya’s office. He’s the lawyer that’s been hired to help keep her struggling company afloat, and he’s none too thrilled to be working with her. Of course, since they can’t avoid eachother, they start hanging out. And then they start flirting. Then there’s some chivalrous stuff and some discussions of past trauma and one truly terrible “community pillar” to be vanquished. But of course, true love prevails. I will warn you, though, if discussions of sexual assault and not being believed by family is a trigger for you, this might not be a book you want to dive into. It’s not a graphic description of assault, but community rejection and ostracization abound, which I can imagine would be painful to some. So. Head’s up.
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare- I have read many a Regency romance in the past couple of years, but no matter the author, I always find myself chasing the high of a Tessa Dare novel. It’s the humor, really. The humor and only minor angst. I mean, Sarah MacLean has quite a bit of humor in her books, but she always counterbalances that with a HEAVY dose of angst. Tessa Dare’s books are the perfect amount of tension with the cheekiest humor and delightful casts of oddballs. Even when she handles heavy topics, like, for example, a Duke who has been severely disfigured in war, she manages to make him sardonic and charming, pulling all his curses from Shakespeare. Do I love the Duke of Ashbury? Not quite as much as I love the plucky seamstress he married, but it’s a near thing. Marriage of convenience turns love match is a delightful trope and nobody does Regency like Tessa Dare. Swoon.
I was so thrilled to be back in Tessa Dare’s universe that I decided to carry on with the Girl Meets Duke series immediately, and I’m currently listening to The Governess Game (which is, thus far, incredibly charming.) I’m eyeball reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I really don’t know what I was expecting going into this book, but holy cats it is violent as all get out. The body count is staggering and the casual violence is intense. I’m completely sucked into the story but I don’t know that I’ll continue with the series because it’s just… A lot.
So my little Bookworms, what have you been reading? How are you holding up?
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