Fiction, Historical, Romance

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore

League of Extraordinary Women #3

And now we have the third in the series, and the first one I read because I’m obsessed with Scotland. I enjoyed this one, but it is ultimately probably my least favorite of the three, mostly for the last few chapters.

Synopsis

From the publisher marketing:
Going toe-to-toe with a brooding Scotsman is rather bold for a respectable suffragist, but when he happens to be one’s unexpected husband, what else is an unwilling bride to do?

London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted just three things in life:

1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.

Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain’s peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she’s stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions….

When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old desire for revenge, he has no room for his new wife’s apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.

But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything–as long as she is prepared to lose her heart.

At first sight, they were still an unlikely match—opposites in looks, upbringing, and temperament. But on the artist’s color wheel, two opposite colors were considered complementary. Their high contrast caused high impact, and they looked their brightest when placed next to each other.

Review

First we had Annabelle, then Lucie, now we’re on to the baby of the group, Hattie. Little, naive, aspiring artist, heiress Hattie. As the Southerners would say, bless her heart. At least at the start. Hattie is a bit of a mess. She has never been allowed to be on her own as the other girls have and always has a chaperone in tow so her lack of worldliness isn’t really a surprise. When she finds herself in a compromising position with a reputed ne’er do well, she finds herself having to get married to protect her family’s honor.

And she’s not really that upset about it, she finally gets some freedom. Sort of. Shortly after the marriage, her new husband, Lucian, is called away to Scotland to check on a mine and Hattie is in for quite a shock when she sees what life is like in rural Scotland. Annabelle, Lucie, and Catriona aren’t really in this one so it’s nice to be able to see Hattie really grow into her own person while away from her friends at Oxford. She makes some new friends while up north and I really loved how quickly she adapted to the circumstances. Lucian is kind, if not always completely honest about his motives and his background, but he’s good to Hattie and at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Or is it.

SPOILER ALERTS HERE: I, along with many others on the internet, are upset with the last few chapters of the book. There is, of course, a misunderstanding to pull our pair apart that feels forced and contrived, and then just when you think that things are better and they’re reunited, Hattie up and leaves. Yup. You read that right. And not to go back to Oxford, but to go to France. For like a year. With three chapters left. Uh, what? It’s romance, so of course there is a happy ending and Hattie and Lucian are reunited, but still. I don’t love it. The rest of the book, yes. It’s fun and great. I hope when Catriona’s book finally arrives next September we’ll have a book that I won’t have a huge gripe about!

Rating: 7 out of 10, vast majority of the book 9, last three chapters 4

Where to Buy
In the USA, I recommend purchasing through BookShop or your local independent, in the UK, and many other parts of the world, I recommend Blackwell’s, and if neither of those cover where you live, I recommend checking out your local booksellers! Independent bookstores are vital parts of every local community and I wholly endorse supporting your local stores versus Amazon.

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