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A Rogue of One's Own

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A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution - but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans...and her heart. Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: t A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution - but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans...and her heart. Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed. Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare. As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…


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A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution - but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans...and her heart. Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: t A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution - but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans...and her heart. Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed. Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare. As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

30 review for A Rogue of One's Own

  1. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: ‪Suffragette CW: (view spoiler)[PTSD, grief over dead brother, MC’s mother suffering from illness, threats to send secondary character into an asylum (hide spoiler)] It pains me to rate this so low because I enjoyed most of this book. I love prickly Lucie and rakish Tristan together; I love Dunmore’s writing; I love the core female friendship that grounds the series (usual caveat: like 95% of traditionally-published historical romance, the book centers white ch 2020 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: ‪Suffragette CW: (view spoiler)[PTSD, grief over dead brother, MC’s mother suffering from illness, threats to send secondary character into an asylum (hide spoiler)] It pains me to rate this so low because I enjoyed most of this book. I love prickly Lucie and rakish Tristan together; I love Dunmore’s writing; I love the core female friendship that grounds the series (usual caveat: like 95% of traditionally-published historical romance, the book centers white characters. Specifically white women involved in the suffrage movement, even though women of color also lived in England and participated in radical activities during this time). I do not love that the hero has a tattoo of a four-armed, blue-skinned, and naked South Asian dancer on his chest. In the light, the inking covering his right pectoral stood out in vivid detail. An intricately patterned circle the size of a saucer in different shades of blue, and at its center, a long-haired female dancer, waving . . . multiple arms? Studying it gave her some time to think, what to say, what to feel, as they sat closely together, smelling warmly of sleep and debauchery. The tattoo was remarkable: the dancer’s expression was serene, her body caught mid-motion in a graceful turn. She was naked, but to her surprise, strands of her hair fully covered her modesty. “It’s charming, I suppose,” she said. “Charming? It’s Pierre Charmaine’s finest handiwork.” She raised her eyes to his. “Who is he?” “Monsieur Pierre was a former officer of the French Foreign Legion. For reasons he never disclosed, he found himself in London a few years ago and now charges outrageous prices in a secret tattoo parlor in Mulberry Walk. I suspect a woman was behind his fall from grace.” “Aren’t we always,” she said dryly. “Why does the woman have four arms?” “Because she is inspired by Lord Shiva.” “Right. And who would he be?” The arms quivered when Tristan chuckled. “Shiva is one of the three principle deities of Hinduism, also called Mahadeva. He is the Lord of Divine Energy, creator of the universe, the God of transformation and destruction. He holds more roles and names, depending on which sect of Hinduism you study. It is complex. He is often depicted with blue skin, four arms, and a snake around his neck.” “A god of destruction.” She was bewildered. “But naturally, you then go and ink a woman onto your skin.” He gave her a grave look. “I have you know that when I stayed in General Foster’s house, I had conversations with the Pujari, the temple priest, after which I considered it wise not to tattoo all powerful deities onto my throughly debauched English body.” Yeah. So no. I hate this and I hate that it becomes a crucial plot point later on. I have little desire to rant and explain all the ways this pissed me off. Obviously I’m very sensitive when it comes to reminders of colonialism in historical romance (and yet I love the subgenre. Trust me, I am aware of my contradictions and hypocrisy), but this was a step too far for me. I am never going to love a story in which a white viscount has a four-armed, blue-skinned, and naked South Asian dancer (inspired by Shiva, no less. Shiva is my family’s main deity of worship) tattooed on his chest. It's later said that the blue tinge is actually scar tissue and not ink (he got the tattoo over scarred tissue), but I'm a bit confused by the description. Maybe some of it is ink? Not sure, but regardless it gives the overall image of a blue deity. I was tempted to downgrade my rating further but felt it unfair considering I was enjoying the book up to this point. To be honest, there are a couple other things that make me cringe in retrospect (I have questions over the villainous gay character and how the one non-white character is Tristan’s South Asian valet), but it’s 3 AM and I don’t really have the energy to type it out. Sorry. This is definitely the worst aspect though. I have to ask how this (and the crucial plot point that I have not spoiled in this review! The mind boggles. I cannot believe what happened at the end of this book) went unnoticed by the author, agent, editor, beta readers, and other early reviewers. I scoured Goodreads and I am the first person to mention this. In my opinion, this is as offensive/racist/careless/clueless (+ a million other adjectives) as Lisa Kleypas's Kama Sutra nonsense in Hello, Stranger. That backlash led to Kleypas apologizing and the publisher changing the content of the book. It's 2020 and I am exhausted. Edited to add on August 24, 2020 (two days after my initial review): Well, the comment section is delightful. But since I've been asked for clarity and I'm a glutton for punishment, let me break down why I'm upset into a step-by-step explanation. Some background context and useful articles: 1) Elizabeth Kingston's article "Reclaiming Historical Romance: how historicals have romanticized white supremacy and what we can do to reclaim the subgenre" for Romance Writers Report (December 2018): https://payhip.com/b/6bFg Relevant passage: "How do Regency and Victorian-set Romances promote white nationalist ideology? Most obviously, this fictional world is overwhelmingly white and Christian. But perhaps less obvious is how it presents a very incomplete version of history, resulting in a failure of world-building that nearly always leaves out significant events. India is only glancingly referenced in most Romances (except as a place where the hero will sometimes go to gain emotional scars and learn erotic arts from fetishized Asian women.)" 2) Review for Lisa Kleypas's Hello, Stranger (March 2018): https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r... 3) Review for Seduction on a Snowy Night Anthology, specifically One Wicked Winter Night by Mary Jo Putney (September 2019): https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2... I wrote the last review. When I say "It's 2020 and I am exhausted," it's not an invitation for people to ask my labor in breaking down historical romance's long and storied history in the exoticization/fetishization of colonized cultures. Because I've already done it. Because it takes up space in my brain when I would rather not expend grief over it. I've been reading romance for over a decade. I've tried to think critically about the genre for the past couple years. I'm not some self-loathing reader of historical romance; it is possible to deeply love a thing and acknowledge systemic problems. Critiquing something you love (even when that thing is fun, fictional escapism) is necessary. It is also possible to have hard, hard limits on when those problems stop you from loving that thing. I made a vague reference to a spoilery end scene earlier. It is impossible to have this discussion without spoiling the story, so you have been warned. The spoilers start here. Brief spoilery, oversimplified recap: Tristan's Evil Dad wants Tristan to stop his scandalous ways and marry a respectable girl now that he's the heir to the earldom. Evil Dad keeps threatening to send Tristan's sick/grieving mom to an asylum, so Tristan reluctantly agrees. The respectable girl is Lucie's younger cousin, Cecily. Over the course of the novel, Cecily becomes jealous of Lucie because it's clear Tristan loves her. Concerned that Tristan might break off his promise to marry her, Cecily takes matters into her own hands. She disappears one night and emerges in the morning, claiming that Tristan has compromised her and they have to marry now. Tristan doesn't have an alibi; he was with Lucie at the "compromising" time and doesn't want to expose her as his lover (there are Reasons: doesn't want to ruin her reputation, would damage her suffragette political ambition, etc). Tristan, resigned to his fate, agrees to marry Cecily and is in a room with Evil Dad and Lucie's parents (Lucie's parents are Cecily's guardians). At the nth hour, Lucie comes bursting in and reveals that she is his alibi: how could he have possibly compromised Cecily when he was compromising her? So now there's a contradiction in the story, and Lucie threatens to make the story public if they force Tristan to go through with this farce of a marriage. Finally Cecily says that she has proof: she's seen Tristan naked because she knows that he has a tattooed dancer on his body. The backstory here is that the aforementioned Evil Gay Villain told Cecily this fact earlier in the book. Evil Gay Villain was present during an orgy and watched Tristan fuck another woman in an exhibitionist act; Evil Gay Villain is also extremely resentful because he propositioned Tristan in lust and was rejected. So he told Cecily about the tattoo. Well, everyone is shocked by Cecily's revelation (he must have compromised her! How else could she have known?) but Tristan knows how to catch her in the lie. He questions Cecily and tricks her into admitting that the dancer has two arms. He laughingly says that the dancer has four arms and Cecily rebukes him, saying that's ridiculous and that the dancer must have two arms (how could she have possibly guessed the existence of a four-armed dancer?). So now the conflict ends and Tristan has his proof that Cecily is a liar. The day is saved, the villian is put in her place, the end. This is the climax of the novel. Literally the most important/tense aspect of the story hinges on the clever "gotcha" of Hindu deities being depicted with multiple arms. I've written all this out and I'm so tired. I don't want to explain any more. Please refer back to my Putney review where I ask the following questions: "You might be wondering, “Why is Aarya so offended and angry? The dancing seems positive. Everyone is appreciative of the Indian culture and they’re not making derogatory remarks. What’s the big deal?” The big deal is the otherization of Indian culture. Go back and reread the scene. What is the purpose of the dancing? Who does it center? Who does it serve?" "So we know who the scene centers. What is the point of the centering? Why even include the scene?" "Perhaps this is understood unsaid, but I’m going to say it anyway: it’s freaking unacceptable that this scene exists when the English colonized India for centuries. I really don’t care about “historical accuracy” or if this might have happened in Regency England. I don’t need to read about Regency England fetishizing and otherizing a culture that they colonized. Historical romance isn’t written in a vacuum, and I expect 21st century authors to have some self-awareness when describing colonial cultures. I don’t expect a thorough accounting of all the misdeeds committed by the British Empire, but not fetishizing a culture is the bare minimum. That’s all I ask for." I don't care that Tristan once lived in India or has a South Asian valet/manservant. I question why this tattoo/conflict resolution exists. Does it need to be there? Couldn't Tristan have had literally any other tattoo that was misinterpreted by Cecily (silly example: he has a wolf tattoo but it's pink. Cecily says it's ridiculous the wolf tattoo is pink and gotcha!)? So what purpose is the tattoo serving? It's the clever "trick" of the climax. Look how strange, look how exotic this culture is that they have dancers with multiple arms. It's so wild that we can hinge the novel's climax on it; Cecily is a liar and would never guess something so impossible in a million years. The aesthetic of Tristan having an image of the Hindu divine on his body makes me sick. No, it's not literally Lord Shiva but my goodness, the inspiration does not make it any better! The multiple arms, the blue imagery — those are marks of the divine. Sacred. The woman is naked even if her hair gives an appearance of modesty; again, fetishizing the form of a South Asian woman. Tristan is a scandalous, debauched rake. Naturally he would have an image of a naked South Asian woman on his body. Gross. Go back to Elizabeth Kingston's article about glancing references to India and fetishizing Asian women. This theme happens over and over again in historical romance; the references to South Asian culture are almost always about divine sensuality (whether it be dancing or the Kama Sutra). Tristan's country is out here colonizing an entire continent, and British historical romance can only appreciate sensual dancing and spices. I haven't even spoken about Tristan's valet (who, yes, expresses ambition to attend university. But he's also extremely deferential/subservient to the white characters. The combination of factors is Not Great). There are certainly respectful references as well (see Rabindranath Tagore), but this tattoo crap overwhelms the rest of it. I wouldn't blink an eye if a South Asian person chose to tattoo this dancer on their body. A white viscount in 1880, a time when England colonized the South Asian subcontinent? Fuck yes, I question it. It's appropriative in half a million ways. It's not necessary to the story. Tristan's backstory in India is, quite frankly, mostly irrelevant to the book and could've been removed without significantly changing the plot. The most important souvenir from his Indian journey is his stupid tattoo and the relevance it plays to the conflict resolution. I haven't talked about authorial intent yet because it is irrelevant. Do I think the author intended to fetishize anything? No. I think this plot decision is clueless, careless, and stupid. Intent is also meaningless; a book doesn't exist in an vacuum. How I feel about this book, how I feel about this tattoo — my historical knowledge of colonization and my decade of reading (sometimes very racist!) historical romance novels impact the way I view this tattoo. It is 2020 and we are way past this nonsense. Get multiple sensitivity readers if you're going to include cultural aspects/characters from marginalized cultures that you're unfamiliar with. I'm really angry now, and mostly because of the comment section. Congrats, Aarya, you played yourself. Never again am I writing anything that affects my mental equilibrium like this. I shouldn't have to explain anything to bad faith actors. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    In the name of literature Gods: I truly deeply hardly fell in with this book! What a sizzling, tempting chemistry! I pour down cups of water several times on my Ipad during my read because Lucie and Tristan’s extremely passionate, scandalous love story and growing intimacy can put any ereaders into fire. ( I cannot imagine how I survive if I read the hardcopy. The pages may turn into ashes after several chapters later and I could give my ugliest cries not to read the rest of the story!) So we ha In the name of literature Gods: I truly deeply hardly fell in with this book! What a sizzling, tempting chemistry! I pour down cups of water several times on my Ipad during my read because Lucie and Tristan’s extremely passionate, scandalous love story and growing intimacy can put any ereaders into fire. ( I cannot imagine how I survive if I read the hardcopy. The pages may turn into ashes after several chapters later and I could give my ugliest cries not to read the rest of the story!) So we have impeccably told historical story-line about women rights, feminism movement, class differences, rights of equality. We have gutsy, brave, fiery, doer, risk taker, independent, smart heroine and observant, great thinker and strategist, planner, logical, flirty, seducer hero. Everybody needs to wear something fire-proof before getting them closer because from the beginning of the book: their sexy and hilarious banters, their opposites and undeniable attraction definitely makes your heart pumping harder. Turn on your AC and drink something ice cold when you read their dialogues. But I cannot make any suggestions about panties you wear because I’m so sure their killing chemistry will melt them in any second and you may find yourself surfing at Victoria Secret’s homepage to get 6 panties for $35 deal! And we have unputdownable, exciting, heart stealing, gripping pacing! You want to read more and get lost in their world: breathing hard as if you have already finished 5K marathon, sweaty, hands clenching because some of the characters make you so furious especially a woman character starring with “C” ( small spoiler)! And you want to start crying so hard at the ending because you want to read more about this amazing couple and you wish the author may write entire series dedicated them. (They deserve at least 2 more books) Let’s a take a quick look to the plot: Lucie is ready to buy shares of London’s major publishing house, thanks to her financial support of Oxford suffragists group. So she may orchestrate a coup in Parliament for Women’s Property Act by using the resources of publishing company. But her long-time nemesis Tristan Ballentine has other plans. He just bought the half shares of the company which makes them reluctant partners and which puts Lucie into Daenerys Targaryen’s mental situation at the last episodes of GOT! (she turns into fuming mad dragon lady!) Tristan bought shares with financial support of very dangerous man for using the company as a get-away plan to help himself and his mother who is threatened to be institutionalized by his father. His callous father demands him to make a proper marriage in three months and give him the heir his family needs. But Tristan is ready to kill two birds with one stone and offers a tempting offer to Lucie, the woman he desires for nearly two decades. He offers her to give the control of publishing company shares in expanse of an indecent proposal. (At least is not married like Demi Moore’s character and Tristan is way too much hotter than Mr. Redford- at least I visualized him hotter after Mr. Wilde’s highly praising-) He wants to spend one night with her. But will one night be enough to distinguish their burning desire! Nope, I’m not so sure! Overall: I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! So far Beach Read and this book are my favorite romance reads of the year!I'm one of the luckiest cow in the literature universe to have a chance to get this ARC! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this AMAZING ARC in exchange my honest review. blog instagram facebook twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    pretty much just copying and pasting my review from ‘bringing down the duke,’ because this sequel is just as good. there are so many things i enjoyed about this. first, the writing is delightful - the story is written with a quality that is very reminiscent of the time period, but also feel refreshingly modern. i like how the subplot of the series shifts more towards the womens suffrage movement and gender equality, as i found it to be more interesting than politics. i like how natural the relati pretty much just copying and pasting my review from ‘bringing down the duke,’ because this sequel is just as good. there are so many things i enjoyed about this. first, the writing is delightful - the story is written with a quality that is very reminiscent of the time period, but also feel refreshingly modern. i like how the subplot of the series shifts more towards the womens suffrage movement and gender equality, as i found it to be more interesting than politics. i like how natural the relationship between tristan and lucie develops. i also love, love, love that lucie finally realises that (view spoiler)[love doesnt take away her freedom, that feeling affection for another person doesnt take away any of her rights. (hide spoiler)] i think their storyline is very well done and stays true to their characters. so another enjoyable addition to this series. cant wait for the next book! ↠ 4 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holly B (semi-hiatus until Jan)

    Another winner from Evie Dunmore! I adored the first book in this series and I'm thrilled to say that this love to hate romance was just as addictive. Perfect pacing with a historical setting and steamy romance with bubbly chemistry between the two characters, Tristan and Lucie. Hot, hot, hot. Lucie is involved in the women's suffragist movement and is sassy, independent and constantly trying to stay one step ahead of Lord Ballentine who has been propositioning her with an invite to his bedroom. Another winner from Evie Dunmore! I adored the first book in this series and I'm thrilled to say that this love to hate romance was just as addictive. Perfect pacing with a historical setting and steamy romance with bubbly chemistry between the two characters, Tristan and Lucie. Hot, hot, hot. Lucie is involved in the women's suffragist movement and is sassy, independent and constantly trying to stay one step ahead of Lord Ballentine who has been propositioning her with an invite to his bedroom. How dare he!, but wait..... she has her own plan and so the scheming begins. Witty banter, characters full of heart and soul, a romance that will have you fanning yourself and hoping this rogue comes to his senses! All is fair in love in war, wouldn't you agree? Beautiful and immersive writing that reads like a big screen movie!! Loved, loved, it and I'm already anticipating book three! Highly Recommend!! Thanks so much to Berkley for my review copy. OUT TODAY SEPT 1, 2020

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yun

    I've been dying to get my hands on this, Dunmore's sophomore book, ever since I read her first book earlier this year. I loved that one so much that I couldn't put it down while out walking, leading me to trip over an errant sign board a store had left outside on a windy day, resulting in a terribly skinned knee and a permanent scar. Nope, I'm not kidding. So it is with great anticipation and excitement that I finally get my hands on this one. But honestly, A Rogue of One's Own just didn't quite I've been dying to get my hands on this, Dunmore's sophomore book, ever since I read her first book earlier this year. I loved that one so much that I couldn't put it down while out walking, leading me to trip over an errant sign board a store had left outside on a windy day, resulting in a terribly skinned knee and a permanent scar. Nope, I'm not kidding. So it is with great anticipation and excitement that I finally get my hands on this one. But honestly, A Rogue of One's Own just didn't quite capture the magic of the first one. On the surface, it's got everything I enjoy: a strong female character fighting the good fight (suffrage), a guy who loves her for her fierceness and her brains, and lots of attraction disguised as mutual dislike. And sure, I definitely enjoyed all those, but something felt missing. For one, the book is too long for the story. The pacing is leisurely bordering on indulgent. Make no mistake, Dunmore is a terrific writer, and it's easy to be swept along in her tale. But the advancement of the plot happens at a snail's pace. Our couple doesn't even exchange their first smooch until past the halfway mark (more than 200 pages in). There are also too many minorly relevant side plots, making the whole thing more convoluted and confusing than necessary. With some good editing, at least 100 pages could have been cut out, and the pacing would've been much improved. The story also lacks that all-important sexual tension that's vital for a romance. I remember the sizzle of the first book, and I kept waiting for it with this one. But the scenes where our couple interacted with each other felt more like they truly disliked each other with none of the attraction. And when we get to the crucial physical moments, the author seemingly becomes Victorianly shy and prudish, using mostly euphemisms to quickly gloss over the whole thing. It feels so different from the first book that it makes me wonder if Dunmore got feedback to tone down the steam in order to appeal to a larger audience. For me, the best romances have the perfect amount of urgency and tension, and both were lacking in this book. The over-expanding of only tangentially-relevant plot points, the sheer amount of pages to get to any kind of romance, and the glossing over of any sizzle between our couple all contributed to snuffing out most of the excitement in the book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this, and without the first book for comparison, I would have found this more than adequate. But I do have my memory of the first book, and in comparison, this was utterly putdownable and a huge disappointment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is my second historical romance novel and I have to say I am starting to really enjoy the genre! I adored this hate to love romance a ton! Lucie was a character you just loved and rooted for because of what she fought for and Tristan is the lovable 'bad guy' you know has a heart of gold. So excited to read the last book in the series because I am hooked!

  7. 4 out of 5

    EmBibliophile

    4 stars Yes I’m currently incapable of picking a romance book that is not historical and no I don’t mind it at all. I’m having the best time of my life. This was just as enjoyable and fun to read as the first book. We get to see the development of a relationship between a complete rogue and a woman full of purpose and determination. I really liked Lucie. I couldn’t help but feel like cheering for her. And even though the first quarter was kinda slow, the rest of the book just flew by and I found m 4 stars Yes I’m currently incapable of picking a romance book that is not historical and no I don’t mind it at all. I’m having the best time of my life. This was just as enjoyable and fun to read as the first book. We get to see the development of a relationship between a complete rogue and a woman full of purpose and determination. I really liked Lucie. I couldn’t help but feel like cheering for her. And even though the first quarter was kinda slow, the rest of the book just flew by and I found myself truly invested in Lucie and Tristan’s relationship. I truly love the group of female friends and how the topics about feminism were addressed. I also liked that both Lucie and Tristan showed character growth throughout the book. And their banter and sass was so entertaining! I really really loved how the story developed and how at the end they both stayed true to their characters. Now how am I supposed to tone down my excitement for Hattie’s book?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melanie A. ~mostly on hiatus~

    ***A 2020 TOP PICK*** 5 STARS!! "It takes a brave man to want a woman who wants rather than needs him." A truly wonderful read, filled with intelligence, friendship and heartfelt emotion. Evie Dunmore has officially found herself a place near the very top of my favorite authors list! Plot in a nutshell: Long disavowed by her family, Lucie has dedicated her life to the suffragist cause. Tristan, on the other hand, has re-dedicated himself to his rakish, hedonistic ways since returning f ***A 2020 TOP PICK*** 5 STARS!! "It takes a brave man to want a woman who wants rather than needs him." A truly wonderful read, filled with intelligence, friendship and heartfelt emotion. Evie Dunmore has officially found herself a place near the very top of my favorite authors list! Plot in a nutshell: Long disavowed by her family, Lucie has dedicated her life to the suffragist cause. Tristan, on the other hand, has re-dedicated himself to his rakish, hedonistic ways since returning from war - at least on the surface. Both find themselves at a crossroads . . . one that puts them in each other's paths for the first time since they were children. It seemed logical and natural that when there was a tender past and a magical now, there would be a future as well. GAH!! This one completely snuck up on me! For most of the book, I had in my mind that it was a very solid 4-star read. Though it was long, I was never bored and I never had the urge to skim (or in this case speed up the audio). But quietly and oh-so-stealthily all the threads of the plot came together in a way that had me swooning almost into a dead faint. So wonderful, so heartwarming, so very well-written. The attraction between them had nowhere to go beyond these stolen, dazzling hours. Lucie was a great heroine; whip-smart and loyal to the end. I ADORED how Ms. Dunmore was able to reconcile her belief system with her burgeoning affection for Tristan. Love, she was learning, was needing someone even when he offered nothing but himself. And Tristan, with all his marshmallow softness under the cutthroat exterior, was a Hero to be admired. He would rather be shot again than clip her wings. Running parallel to Lucie and Tristan's love story is, of course, the fight for women's rights . . . Men have been taught that they are absolute monarchs in their families, ever since the world began, and that to kill a wife by inches is not murder. . . . and commentary on the contradictory roll of a lady in society . . . "But one moment a lady's virtue is her sole worth, the one attribute that determines who, if anyone, will marry her. The next moment, it's something to pity and snicker about because the lady failed to give it away fast enough." I loved how Lucie and her 'politicking' was woven into much of the story. "A woman overtly grasping for power is a most vulgar creature. It helps when she looks lovely while she does it. And it so confuses the demagogues." "Ma'am, I'm afraid the idea that a woman is a person, whether married or not, is so inherently radical no matter which way I present it, I shall be considered a nuisance." I can't recommend this one enough if you love historicals with depth and intelligence!! ********************* What follows below ⬇⬇⬇ is my two cents on the controversy surrounding this one. Read at your own peril. 😂 Recently, a GR reader took author ED to task over historical fiction's utter lack of diversity, as well as, specifically in this book, anti-LGBTQ sentiment, and racism/fetishization of culture. I admit, I went into this one with trepidation after reading the review. I don't know, you guys. I didn't see it. I don't know if I'm being obtuse or what, but I didn't find any negative or prejudicial undertones. Do historicals lack diversity? Definitely. Is this the book to be held to account? I don't think so. Perhaps the previous installment, where the suffragist movement was much more 'on the ground' and out in the streets. But Lucie's story took her to the 'top' of society . . . and I'm sure even today's upper 10,000 shows an overwhelming majority of white faces, let alone in the 1880's. And anti-LGBTQ sentiment? I didn't find this either. Tristan gave the impression he was accepting of all sexuality and it was hinted that he was bisexual. His encounter with Oscar Wilde was a highlight for me. But still I was wary about the claim that the one gay character was the villain . . . and when it came to pass, I was underwhelmed. He was hardly the 'villain' of the story. Where I am less certain in my defense of the book is the issue of Tristan's tattoo, which shows a version of a Hindu god. Since I eschew ALL forms of organized religion, I'm wholly unqualified to criticize and inherently biased, but I didn't find anything nefarious. I thought the general sentiment was meant to be positive and showed Tristan's respect for the deity. But again, I'm unqualified. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    4.5 STARS I loved it. Almost as much as the Bringing Down the Duke. I am delighted with Evie Dunmore's characters and her writing style is excellent. I really wanted to give this one 5 Stars but there were just a few things within the story that took some luster off. So much interesting research about the women's suffragist movement. It's too bad so many women today have little knowledge about the sacrifices that so many women have made over the years to make our lives better. I can't wait for th 4.5 STARS I loved it. Almost as much as the Bringing Down the Duke. I am delighted with Evie Dunmore's characters and her writing style is excellent. I really wanted to give this one 5 Stars but there were just a few things within the story that took some luster off. So much interesting research about the women's suffragist movement. It's too bad so many women today have little knowledge about the sacrifices that so many women have made over the years to make our lives better. I can't wait for the next book in the series. I'm assuming that Hattie is up next. This was an ARC from NetGalley, so I won't be including any quotes in this review. Even though I really really wanted to. ;) If you like well researched Regency/Victorian Romances Evie Dunmore is an excellent addition to your list of authors. Looking forward to reading many more of her books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Pleasantly surprised by this one! I went into A Rogue of One's Own excited about this series but hesitant about the main character. Lady Lucie is a commanding figure during the Suffragist movement in the United Kingdom during the late 1800s. I wasn't sure how much I would like Lucie in her own love story because in the first book in the series, she is strict, a bit ruthless and does not put up with fools. But I was dead wrong. I ended up loving her. She's a cynic and an idealist at the same time, al Pleasantly surprised by this one! I went into A Rogue of One's Own excited about this series but hesitant about the main character. Lady Lucie is a commanding figure during the Suffragist movement in the United Kingdom during the late 1800s. I wasn't sure how much I would like Lucie in her own love story because in the first book in the series, she is strict, a bit ruthless and does not put up with fools. But I was dead wrong. I ended up loving her. She's a cynic and an idealist at the same time, along with having a huge heart. Trust is a big issue for her due to watching her own parents wreck of a marriage while growing up. She is leary of trusting people, especially men. Tristan Ballentine is the perfect man for her. The are both rogues in society but in different ways. He does not care what society thinks of him and his actions, and Lucie does not care if her family is shocked and horrified by her leading the suffragist movement. In fact, her family ends up disowning her for her vision and steadfast belief that women should vote, along with owning their own property and money apon marriage. The chemistry, friendship and love in this book was just fantastic! I loved both characters and would recommend this book and series to anyone that loves historical romance. Hell, if you just love a great romance, this is great! Evie Dunmore's characters, plots and writing are just so damn good! She's definitely becoming a new favorite of mine!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aoife - Bookish_Babbling

    Little asides that may or may not have made reader updates: Lol @ cat poem Other poetic cameos were extremely enjoyable for their unexpectedness 😄 Eurgh Eton "bants" 🤮🤢 & sadly I don't think much has changed 😕 Boudicca is a blessing - in fact the kitty rep in this is priceless I'm feeling a little torn as I love the strong female friendships between these 4 ladies. The way they handled the evolution in circumstances from the first book and how the friendships go through their own challenges yet come Little asides that may or may not have made reader updates: Lol @ cat poem Other poetic cameos were extremely enjoyable for their unexpectedness 😄 Eurgh Eton "bants" 🤮🤢 & sadly I don't think much has changed 😕 Boudicca is a blessing - in fact the kitty rep in this is priceless I'm feeling a little torn as I love the strong female friendships between these 4 ladies. The way they handled the evolution in circumstances from the first book and how the friendships go through their own challenges yet come out stronger is 🥰 I am hopeful we will continue to see this in Hattie's story - we got such sweet glimpses of her in this, she is such a gem! And I am dying to see what happens with Catriona, I have my suspicions but kind of hope someone unexpected will come sweep her off her feet. I enjoyed finding out more about the suffragette movement, getting a taste of some of the many sacrifices these amazing women made & what went into this historic movement was extremely eye opening, not only for me - Tristan had his wee mind blown 😉 I liked Tristan & Lucie, although their initial agreement left me uncomfortable as it felt a little like blackmail/coercion even if dressed up as ladies choice. Especially as Lucie doesn't get Tristan's PoV like we do, but I guess their antagonism allows her to be brutally honest with him in what is possibly an unusual set up for the time period - I'm a newcomer to HR so cannot really say. They had entertaining back & forths, some of which had me laugh out loud/snort-snickering as the frenemies become more. Their story followed a very different path than I thought it would when I picked this up. I was pleasantly surprised - as rather deeper storylines than anticipated unfurled fool me for thinking otherwise and despite my issues with the "conflict"/speedbump in their relationship. The ending seems fitting & I really enjoyed the publishing side story and wouldn't have minded more time in London 😅 My confused feelings toward this book come from the conflict and how (like in the first book although I forgot to mention it in my review) it pits women against women especially as there were other roadblocks to potentially cause this pairing to stumble. The ommission of one of the MCs feeds into my pet peeve of lack of communication & I don't understand the need to make the other character involved so vindictive. I was also uncomfortable with the villainisation/pettyness/bitterness written for Arthur, his struggle is not dissimilar to the suffragettes and arguably more dangerous. I understand his lashing out in the circumstances but don't like how it was handled 🤷‍♀️ Aarya wrote a wonderful review highlighting another uncomfortable aspect addressing colonialism and the token'ism that sometimes crops up in HR. I cannot speak to this as my culture, although also colonised, is not treated in the same way. The MCs do have a conversation about colonisation & disagree with it in principle however this felt kind of throwaway in a book already striving with another Cause. I'm teetering between a 3.5-3.75* rating as I did enjoy this one more than the first book, the Duke in that one is kind of an arrogant alpha but again I forgot to mention that in that review which in hindsight might be more of a 3.25* read but in both books the female friendships sway me and will keep me coming back because I am still a sucker for a period setting 🤗

  12. 5 out of 5

    Evie Dunmore

    Goodreads kindly invited me to annotate 10 Highlights from A Rogue of One's Own to celebrate Rogue's GoodReads Choice Award Nomination. So here are my Highlights & Notes! Goodreads kindly invited me to annotate 10 Highlights from A Rogue of One's Own to celebrate Rogue's GoodReads Choice Award Nomination. So here are my Highlights & Notes!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roshani Chokshi

    T R I S T A N. Idk what else this review needs to say, honestly I'd leave it at that, but Dunmore is so brilliant, I'm compelled to gush more. Dunmore expertly wraps you up in details of 19th century London. Her prose etches this world to life, and her characters infuse it with a heartbeat. They are achingly real and their secret dreams and quiet passions will wring your heart as you wait for them to find joy. I loved Lucie. I loved the undercurrent of poetry (with a shoutout to Rabindranath Tag T R I S T A N. Idk what else this review needs to say, honestly I'd leave it at that, but Dunmore is so brilliant, I'm compelled to gush more. Dunmore expertly wraps you up in details of 19th century London. Her prose etches this world to life, and her characters infuse it with a heartbeat. They are achingly real and their secret dreams and quiet passions will wring your heart as you wait for them to find joy. I loved Lucie. I loved the undercurrent of poetry (with a shoutout to Rabindranath Tagore, no less!) and decadence to this novel. I loved the dialogue, the sass, the humor and the inclusivity of this world. More PLEASE.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    I adore this series. Historical romance with a slap of women's suffrage? BRING it, babe, and keep them coming. Plot: ★★★★ Historic vibes: ★★★★ 1/2 Romance: ★★★★★ Witty dialogue: ★★★★★ This is fast becoming one of my favorite series in the niche genre of historical romances. Neck in neck with Tessa Dare's Girl Meets Duke series, this is filled to the brim with witty banter, sharp women, self aware yet powerful men, and a historical setting with a refreshingly modern sense of female independence. (O I adore this series. Historical romance with a slap of women's suffrage? BRING it, babe, and keep them coming. Plot: ★★★★ Historic vibes: ★★★★ 1/2 Romance: ★★★★★ Witty dialogue: ★★★★★ This is fast becoming one of my favorite series in the niche genre of historical romances. Neck in neck with Tessa Dare's Girl Meets Duke series, this is filled to the brim with witty banter, sharp women, self aware yet powerful men, and a historical setting with a refreshingly modern sense of female independence. (Okay, that last one obviously bends the rules of "historical accuracy," but excuse me... this is a romance and I'm not complaining.) Lucie is not happy. A woman who has given up her reputation in society and worked herself to the bone for The Cause (women's rights), Lucie is finally at the point where she and her team of Oxford suffragists have successfully landed a spot to shine the light on their cause: They've purchased 50% of the shares of a publishing house, and they mean to use them to fight the good fight and spread the word. The only thing in Lucie's way is Lord Tristan Ballentine. Tristan and Lucie grew up together, and Lucie cannot BELIEVE that at this moment, the most important moment of her Cause, it's Tristan standing in her way. As far back as she can remember, it was Tristan in her path. He threw pranks her way, he never left her alone, and he never disappeared from her line of sight. Of course, these days he's keeping himself in her life by flaunting his lovers and sexual escapades in the society's gossip rags.... but still. Tristan Ballentine has bought the other 50% of shares at the publishing house. Lucie's not about to let that stand. She's ready for battle, and as always, Tristan is there ready to spar. What could possibly make Tristan do this? Well, if the man has been infatuated with the spitfire suffragist since she was old enough to slap him at the age of 13, that's his business. He's spent decades doing everything he possibly can to provoke a reaction from Lucie. But this time, Tristan's actions aren't necessarily about Lucie, and he's found himself on the other side of the sparring field quite by accident. He guesses it's time to see how far this can go. Oh dear, Lucie. Get ready for a ride. My thoughts: LOVED this, folks. Perfectly paced hate-to-love romance, with a huge dash of mutual angst and pining because, duh, it's also historical. One of the best elements of historical romances is the strict society rules, and how our heroes decide to subvert them. This story was no exception. Their ending was perfect for their character arcs. Tristan and Lucie's chemistry zings. Really zings. I loved their back stories, their reasonings, and even enjoyed the stereotypical elements of "reluctant historical female meets notorious rogue" that usually sets my teeth on edge. Because Lucie's character was so independent and strong, I didn't mind. She held her own and then some. Also, it must be said that the author does a fantastic job of grounding us in the time period of women fighting for their rights in England. There's a section of notes in the back explaining where things fit into the real historic timeline, and I really appreciated it. Thank you to Berkley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tears Of Venus, but humans call me Mina

    Me when I realized the book is out : Guess who'll be ignoring work, people and life in general until further notice ? yessss moi ╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳ I am willing to give an organ or two to get my hands and eyes on this book. Do I really need the silly heart than only beats for Henry Cavill, Lana Del Rey, fictional characters and unhealthy food? Me when I realized the book is out : Guess who'll be ignoring work, people and life in general until further notice ? yessss moi ╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳╳ I am willing to give an organ or two to get my hands and eyes on this book. Do I really need the silly heart than only beats for Henry Cavill, Lana Del Rey, fictional characters and unhealthy food?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Help! I've fallen and I can't get up...because this book WRECKED ME TO MY CORE. Oh? My? GOD??? I thought Evie Dunmore's Bringing Down the Duke was a dynamite historical romance, and then she had the A-U-D-A-C-I-T-Y to write A Rogue of One's Own, which is true perfection in my eyes. How could she?! As far as characters go, Lucie is a wonderfully self-actualized and multidimensional protagonist, and I had a lot of fun piecing together Tristan's whole deal as well. There were so many good quotes in h Help! I've fallen and I can't get up...because this book WRECKED ME TO MY CORE. Oh? My? GOD??? I thought Evie Dunmore's Bringing Down the Duke was a dynamite historical romance, and then she had the A-U-D-A-C-I-T-Y to write A Rogue of One's Own, which is true perfection in my eyes. How could she?! As far as characters go, Lucie is a wonderfully self-actualized and multidimensional protagonist, and I had a lot of fun piecing together Tristan's whole deal as well. There were so many good quotes in here about love and what it means to be wanted versus needed; I ate it all up. And the feminism? Y'all, the FEMINISM. Be still, my political heart. Love us a romance novel that gives us sizzling ballroom glares and a lesson on mass appeal versus radical activism. And I said it when I reviewed Bringing Down the Duke, but it bears repeating: Dunmore is a goddamn sorcerer when it comes to creating long-simmering intensity between her characters. There's not a goddamn knife on Earth sharp enough to cut through all of Lucie and Tristan's tension during the entirety of this book. And don't even get me started on the banter, because this is absolutely Bitches Who Love Good Dialogue™-approved. I'm Very Upset™ that we have to wait until Fall 2021 for the third book (Ah! My girl Hattie is getting her due!), but I'll for sure be counting down the days.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars Evie Dunmore emerged onto the historical romance scene last year with Bringing Down the Duke, a tightly written, strongly characterised story which clearly marked the appearance of a fresh voice in the genre.  So – with that runaway success under her belt, the question fans of the genre were asking was ‘can she do it again or was that a flash in the pan?’; Well, I’m here to tell you that she clearly can do it again, because in A Rogue of One’s Own, she on I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars Evie Dunmore emerged onto the historical romance scene last year with Bringing Down the Duke, a tightly written, strongly characterised story which clearly marked the appearance of a fresh voice in the genre.  So – with that runaway success under her belt, the question fans of the genre were asking was ‘can she do it again or was that a flash in the pan?’; Well, I’m here to tell you that she clearly can do it again, because in A Rogue of One’s Own, she once more tells a thoroughly entertaining story featuring compelling characters and a sensual romance that is very firmly anchored in its late Victorian setting, while also delivering a feminist message in a way that is properly entrenched within the fabric of the story and faithful to the character of the heroine. Lady Lucie Tedbury, a leader of the British suffragist movement, was disowned by her family a decade earlier for publicly espousing her radical beliefs. She now lives in what can best be described as genteel poverty in Oxford, where she and her friends meet regularly to discuss and organise their activities on behalf of the sufrragist cause.  Their current focus is lobbying Parliament to abolish or amend the Married Woman’s Property Act, and they are on the verge of purchasing half of the shares in publishing house London Print, with a view to publishing their report attacking the Act in its periodicals.  But a few days later, Lucie is horrified to learn that the other fifty percent have just been purchased by Tristan Ballantine, heir to the Earl of Rochester, a notorious libertine who was the bane of her childhood existence. This is a major setback. Tristan is never going to agree to publish the report, which means all the time and effort spent collecting their data will be wasted.  But Lucie has never been one to give up without a fight and asks Tristan what it will take for him to sell her another one percent of the shares to give her a controlling interest in the company.  Tristan’s price?  A night in her bed. Or his.  He’s not fussed. Tristan, a second son, never expected to inherit his father’s title.  The Earl of Rochester is a cruel man who insisted on absolute obedience and did his best to beat anything he regarded as not masculine out of his younger son.  Tristan went into the army and served in India, where he earned the Victoria Cross, but the death of his older brother means Tristan is now heir to the Rochester earldom, and his father is determined to make Tristan do his duty to the title by getting married and begetting an heir.  Tristan has no wish to do any such thing, but the earl – who can no longer beat him into submission - has found other ways to control his wayward son over the years, and anticipating his refusal, says that if Tristan doesn’t do as he’s told, then he will arrange for the Countess – who, by the sound of it is what we’d call bi-polar - to be put into an asylum. Tristan is no longer fully financially dependent on his father, but his plan to get his mother away to safety – perhaps to India – needs funds, which is where London Print comes in.  Years earlier, Tristan anonymously authored a collection of romantic poetry which proved very popular; he now plans to republish it with his name attached, knowing that his reputation as a war hero and London’s most notorious rogue means it will sell in large numbers and provide the money he needs. Both Lucie and Tristan are extremely well-drawn, complex characters who have upsetting and painful circumstances in their pasts and are trying hard to do what they think is right in their presents.  They’re easy to like and root for, and although Tristan does come across as a bit of a cold bastard to start with, Ms. Dunmore does a brilliant job of showing the reader that a thoughtful, sensitive and damaged man lies beneath the outwardly heartless philanderer, and revealing why the boy who liked to read rather than shoot, and to take care of animals rather than hunt them grew a tough outer shell and cultivated a reputation as a callous womaniser and corrupter of youth. It’s clear that Tristan has long been carrying a torch for Lucie, but typical of the emotionally-stunted male, he metaphorically pulled her pigtails (and even dyed them once!) to hide the fact that he was sweet on her when they were younger.  Lucie has no interest in giving up the little freedom she has by getting married and has dedicated herself to the suffragist cause, but her disinterest in marriage doesn’t – to her dismay – mean that she isn’t interested in men, or at least, in one man in particular.  The chemistry between the pair crackles right from the start as they embark upon a battle of wills, and things heat up even more.  Tristan knows what a woman’s desire looks like; Lucie is horrified at herself for being so strongly attracted to him, and the confusion that afflicts her is very well depicted – how can she desire a man while despising him? But she is also surprised as she starts to discover the real man beneath the veneer, a well-educated, well-read man with an artistic soul and a willingness to listen and understand. I was impressed with the way the author incorporates the feminist message in this book.  Lucies’s thoughts and feelings are incredibly well articulated and never come across as preachy or mere lip-service,  but as essential truths: “A man’s lack of voice is connected to his lack of property… A woman’s lack of voice is forever connected to the fact that she is a woman. “ Anyone who knows anything about the period will know that women had few (if any rights) and that the few that were eventually won took a lot of continual, hard work by many.  (And that while many things have changed in the last 150 years, there are still many that have not).  And while Lucie is outspoken and prepared to stand up for what she believes in she also recognises the need to operate within the limits of the society in which she’s living.  She may be tough and determined, but there’s a vulnerable side to her she strives never to reveal, but which readers are allowed to glimpse as she wrestles with her conscience over her ability to continue to dedicate herself to her work should she become involved with Tristan. Kudos to her, too, for incorporating a bisexual hero into a mainstream historical romance.  It’s not stated overtly, but it’s fairly clear that Tristan has had relationships with men as well as women (he even gets to flirt with Oscar Wilde at one point!), although this aspect of his character isn’t explored in any detail. Electric chemistry, an intense attraction and a growing tenderness and understanding – the romance in this book works superbly on pretty much every level, although towards the end I started to feel as though Lucie was so overwhelmed by all the work she was undertaking and all the different directions she was being pulled in that she would never have time for a romantic partner in her life – and that impression, unfortunately, remained with me until the end.  It’s one of the reasons this book didn’t quite reach DIK status.  Another is that while it ends in what is probably the only way it could have ended and remained true to Lucie’s character, it’s a bit too pat and easy;  for Tristan and Lucie to do what they do is pretty risky, especially given that discovery could pose a real threat to Lucie’s ability to continue her work. And then there’s this: (view spoiler)[Near the end, Lucie learns something unpleasant and slaps Tristan on the face with no provocation other than a misunderstanding and her own anger.  Violence never solves anything, and a character who resorts to it for no reason other than temper immediately loses some of my respect.  It’s not acceptable, and had the situation been reversed, the book would probably never have been published. (hide spoiler)] Overall however, A Rogue of One’s Own is a terrific read, a sensual, insightful and wonderfully poignant love story featuring a well-matched central couple whose HEA is hard-won and thoroughly deserved.  The last couple of chapters left me feeling a teeny bit deflated, but not enough to give the book anything other than a strong recommendation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    3.5 stars I thought this was a good sequel to this series but there were some questionable diversity representations in the story. Good stuff first: - I enjoyed the feminist/suffragette rep in this series, and this book has even more! - Nice rep showing men can be feminists too - I enjoyed the push and pull between the main characters Questionable diversity stuff (these are all spoilers, sorry): (view spoiler)[ - LGBTQ+ rep at first seems surprisingly good for an HR, until the end reveal makes the pri 3.5 stars I thought this was a good sequel to this series but there were some questionable diversity representations in the story. Good stuff first: - I enjoyed the feminist/suffragette rep in this series, and this book has even more! - Nice rep showing men can be feminists too - I enjoyed the push and pull between the main characters Questionable diversity stuff (these are all spoilers, sorry): (view spoiler)[ - LGBTQ+ rep at first seems surprisingly good for an HR, until the end reveal makes the primary LGBTQ character one of the villains of the story because of unrequited love - The only non-white character is a servant. Which maybe is to be expected given the time/setting, but still. It would have been nice if they had have stronger characterization if nothing else. - A tattoo ends up playing an important role in the plot, but it's Hindu based which to me is a bad choice for a white character who doesn't religiously follow Hinduism. (hide spoiler)] Now for me personally the above stuff didn't take away from my largely positive view of the book, because I feel the feminist/suffrage emphasis is still laudable. But then again I'm a straight white woman, so reactions may understandably vary.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    Hello yes I NEED this so desperately. I'll pretty much read anything by Evie Dunmore after loving her debut!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Blackjack

    A Rogue of One's Own has been a polarizing book for many readers, including myself. The romance itself is just stellar with amazing chemistry between two complex characters who both experience very believable and important emotional growth. The actual romance between Lucie and Tristan is probably one of my favorites of 2020. At the same time, White Feminism is on full display, and it's mostly middle class white feminism as well, though some lip service is paid to working class women. So what does A Rogue of One's Own has been a polarizing book for many readers, including myself. The romance itself is just stellar with amazing chemistry between two complex characters who both experience very believable and important emotional growth. The actual romance between Lucie and Tristan is probably one of my favorites of 2020. At the same time, White Feminism is on full display, and it's mostly middle class white feminism as well, though some lip service is paid to working class women. So what does feminism generally look like in historical romances? Very narrow and very white. It functions in this book to render women of color invisible. That is sincerely disappointing. I hope Dunmore can read more about the critical diversity in the suffrage movement and understand the crucial role women of color and working class women played in its history. Cultural appropriation too takes place, largely around the role of the hero's tattoo, which seemed to me something that could have been excised entirely from the book without barely impacting the story. I found the tattoo offensive and its existence as a plot point stupid, but I also found it at odds with Tristan's character. At around 70% in the book, Tristan offers to Lucie his disdain for the entire British imperial project and links its exploitation to social justice movements like the emergent women's movement, and so it's hard to reconcile Tristan's anti-colonial feelings with the very real fact that he has a tattoo of a religious deity in the form of a naked South Asian woman on his chest. Along these lines, Tristan is also juxtaposed as an enlightened and sophisticated man, often in contrast to a plethora of misogynist men populating this story, and so for him to have a naked woman tattooed on his chest was puzzling. Offensive, undoubtedly, but inexplicable too given that there are no signs in this book that Tristan objectifies women. In fact, he has always been one of the heroine's biggest supporters ever since they were children when he viewed her with awe as a warrior for the disenfranchised. The hero's valet, Avi, is South Asian, and he largely exists more as symbol than fully developed person in his own right. Working class people often exist in historical romances as one-dimensional, but in this case, the racial representation piled on top of the representation of a working class person is unpleasant. There has been some criticism that this book features a gay man in a villainous role. I appreciate early reviews calling attention to this as it helped me to read more attentively. Having said that, I don't agree necessarily or maybe fully agree that Arthur, the gay character in the book, is entirely painted as a villain. First, he's not the only gay character, as Oscar Wilde has a small but very memorable and important role. Also, Tristan is bisexual, I think, though that was not clearly developed. Arthur seeks revenge but he also is a little surprised that the real villain of the book took his gossip and ran with it. Arthur has a heart-to-heart talk with the hero at the end of the book that made me a little sympathetic toward him, and the scene itself serves as a moment where Tristan gains some needed insight into what it's like to be a gay man during this period. I didn't in the end read this book as homophobic. I'm still contemplating allusions to Tristan's bisexuality though. This is a book that is over 400+ pages and the majority of it focuses firmly on two complex and wounded individuals who belong to each other. Lucie is one of the best suffragist characters I've read mainly because she leans into the hurtful stereotypes of feminists as shrill, man-hating harridans. She papers her bedroom wall with the "Vinegar Valentines" she routinely receives from haters as a reminder of how much contempt and anger is aimed at women who disrupt the status quo. She is often acerbic, rigid, and uncompromising and at the same time, vulnerable, fragile, and lonely. Tristan, Lucie's childhood nemesis, is equally complex and a mixture of contradictory characteristics. Abused as a child, he is a sensitive and vulnerable person who finds refuge in romantic poetry and yearns for a life outside the ugliness he has witnessed. At the same time, his stent as a youthful rabble-rouser gives him hedonistic experiences very much in accordance with the decadence of the avant- garde period of the turn of the century. Tristan awkwardly straddles his experiences as a "rogue" with his uneasiness at the injustices he witnesses all around him. Unlike many rakes in romances, he doesn't easily occupy any one position for long, and so his attraction to Lucie has an irrefutable logic in this book. Both characters grapple in dissatisfaction with their own experiences and personalities but find peace and acceptance when they come together as a secret couple. I loved the many scenes of Lucie and Tristan creating a life hidden away from the world where only the two of them can be together. Both characters undergo considerable transformation over the course of the novel, and I was ultimately satisfied where they end up in terms of self-realization as well as the acceptance they find in each other. This book has so many ideas percolating throughout that are worth the time to contemplate. I wrote lots of notes while reading that I couldn't possibly cover in one review, but female friendship remains one of the best features of this series. Women's views on sex positivity is handled well too and is an important precursor to the sexual revolution that takes place decades later for women in the twentieth century. I continue to hope authors and readers can learn from the anger many feel today when we read about groups that are defined as being different from the norm, marginalized, or rendered invisible from mainstream society. This book would have been a flat-out five stars for me except that I felt frustrated that Dunmore, who I really do believe is a first-rate romance writer, needs to gain sensitivity and understanding. Nevertheless, as a romance reader, I appreciate the beautiful romance at the heart of the book. I'm looking forward to Hattie's book next year.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Precious ✨

    I think I might be crying a little... this book was everything I wanted. I came to this book directly after rereading its predecessor Bringing Down the Duke. I was extremely nervous and kept repeating the question "what if it isn't as good as the first?" in my head. It was all for nothing. If you liked Evie's debut about Annabelle Archer and Sebastian Montgomery but didn't want to read the rendition just something just as good if not better, pick this book up. I was literally arrested and held ho I think I might be crying a little... this book was everything I wanted. I came to this book directly after rereading its predecessor Bringing Down the Duke. I was extremely nervous and kept repeating the question "what if it isn't as good as the first?" in my head. It was all for nothing. If you liked Evie's debut about Annabelle Archer and Sebastian Montgomery but didn't want to read the rendition just something just as good if not better, pick this book up. I was literally arrested and held hostage (gladly) from the first page. The first chapter we are given a glimpse at the first meeting of Tristan Bellantine and Lady Lucie, which gives so much insight into the two people it's crazy and serves as a perfect setup, opening up the story wonderfully. Seeing as we had already "met" them as side/supporting characters previously. Lucie is still a hard as nails suffragist. No sleep for this one as she works to right the wrongs against the female class. She's able to obtain a business to help spread the word and facts of the mistreatment of women but on the cusp of victory, it turns out that Tristan is the silent co-owner of the same company. Pining, sarcasm, heated glares and chaos ensue from there. Tristan has his own reasons for the being the thorn in Lucie's side, besides an almost life long Lucie fantasy affliction. One of those being trying to outmaneuver his despicable father, and just being free to be himself without his current constraints. With these fiery personalities a gauntlet is thrown along with a proposition and of course are both picked up by the other. I loved both of them immensely! They both have reputations that preside them but also hinder them. I thought Dunmore did a phenomenal job of transporting the reader (me) to another time, while still making it relevant and hilarious. I found Tristan a prefect swoon worthy bad boy (of the time). He was understanding, nonjudgmental, held so much charisma, and was capable of holding his own while standing next to the warrior that is Lucie. While also oozing to the brim lustful desire, and making you feel like he would know exactly what to do. T R I S T A N. I S. E V E R Y T H I N G. Lucie's side shows us so much of her and even the insecurities she hides beneath her steel composure and sharp whip of a tongue. I loved how we go to explore the constant battle of being an independent while also just being simply a woman. About how we have choices and we should be allowed all of them regardless of what might be the social norm. She's fierce and mighty, but she's vulnerable and full of heart. If I could have anyone in my corner it would be this woman. She in her own right is also deserving of praise with the ooh's and aah's. TL;DR: if you love strong heroines, dark hearts still made of gold somehow, stories with unwavering determination, or dabble in bodice rippers, this book should break that scale you measure by. I am eagerly awaiting the next story about one of these Extraordinary Women and the excerpt of Hattie and her mysteriously dark beau did nothing but make me want to learn to time travel. I am very much jealous of the future me reading it. I'm pretty sure I love you Evie Dunmore, you are definitely "one-click" status worthy. Thank you to the Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. Bringing Down the Duke Review

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chanel Cleeton

    Evie Dunmore has done it again! A Rogue of One’s Own is as extraordinary as the women who encompass Evie’s passionate and formidable league of suffragettes. A swoonworthy romance fueled by electric chemistry, compelling characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts, and a fascinating and richly detailed period in history make this another sensational read. A Rogue of One’s Own is a must-read for historical romance lovers. I can’t wait for the next one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    DNF at 30% in the audiobook. I might try to pick this up later? But the plot is moving SOOOOOOO slowly and I still had so much more to go in the book. At 450 pages, it shouldn't take that long to pick up. I liked the idea of the heroine trying to buy a publishing house for her suffrage activism, but I felt no romance between her and the hero. I also wasn't a fan of the hero at all. Nothing he does is likable and I'm not sure if he ends up redeeming himself, but if I can't get behind the love int DNF at 30% in the audiobook. I might try to pick this up later? But the plot is moving SOOOOOOO slowly and I still had so much more to go in the book. At 450 pages, it shouldn't take that long to pick up. I liked the idea of the heroine trying to buy a publishing house for her suffrage activism, but I felt no romance between her and the hero. I also wasn't a fan of the hero at all. Nothing he does is likable and I'm not sure if he ends up redeeming himself, but if I can't get behind the love interest, I have a hard time enjoying a book. I just didn't feel connected to ether of them and having read so much already, I felt like I was forcing myself to read and not enjoying any of it, so I'm putting this down for now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    GigiReads

    If you’ve read Bringing Down the Duke, you may recall a certain militant suffragist and a rake having some unresolved lusty antagonism. This is their book and their unresolved repressed lust gets unpacked in the most glorious way possible. Tristan is, to use a very historically accurate term, a himbo. Shallower than a  kiddie pool. So gorgeous that everyone lusts after him. He literally can’t step foot anywhere without being mobbed and oh, did I mention he has his own line of “Ballentine” cards? If you’ve read Bringing Down the Duke, you may recall a certain militant suffragist and a rake having some unresolved lusty antagonism. This is their book and their unresolved repressed lust gets unpacked in the most glorious way possible. Tristan is, to use a very historically accurate term, a himbo. Shallower than a  kiddie pool. So gorgeous that everyone lusts after him. He literally can’t step foot anywhere without being mobbed and oh, did I mention he has his own line of “Ballentine” cards? He’s the Victorian equivalent of a reality star. Lucie is a determined, focused woman on a mission to get women the vote and most pressingly to liberate women from their oppressive reality. She has no time for men but most especially for beautiful empty-headed ones that used to love to tease her and aggravate her when they were children. Unfortunately, the publishing house Lucie has recently acquired to further the Cause with the help of her friends has a second owner. A madenningly beautiful, slightly evil one who is bound and determined to thwart Evie’s plans at every turn. Cue the sexiest and slow burn-iest battle of wills that I’ve read in a long time.   I loved so many things about this book. I loved that it’s about a feminist heroine and it's a feminist book and it makes a point of showing the horrible reality of being a woman in the 19th century but it stays firmly rooted in the history of the time. The author doesn’t just tell you, she shows you the frustrations and injustices inherent at every turn. And that brings me to my new book boyfriend, Tristan. I’m an unapologetically hero-centric reader and if the hero doesn’t work for me, the book most certainly won’t. Tristan worked for me on every level and let me tell you why: he reminded me of my book husband Sebastian, Lord St Vincent. That’s the highest compliment I can pay any hero, btw. He was like a most beautiful onion with so, so many layers to him, there was so much more going on beyond the beautiful, rakish, empty-headed flirty facade (he’s secretly a poet, y’all * swoons dead away*), and just when I thought I had a handle on his character, the author would reveal another little detail, something else to complete the puzzle that was Tristan. I won’t spoil my beautiful misunderstood baby here, you must experience him for yourself but I’ll say that one of my favorite things about his character was seeing him recognize his privilege and doing something about it. I adored Lucie just as much. Her character was also complex, layered and so heartbreakingly real. I came close to frustrated tears reading about Lucie’s uphill battle, her frustrations, her insecurities, and the high price she paid for daring to buck the norms. These two characters are compelling enough as individuals but together as they find each other, they’re irresistible. They are both victims of society’s rigid gender rules except Lucie fights it at every turn and Tristan puts on a mask and leans in. They first find themselves and then they find each other and oh my heart! Make no mistake, this book is swooningly romantic. One of my favorite things about reading romance is that moment when you realize the MC's have fallen in love. Too often I feel this is told rather than shown and I get cranky that I get cheated out of that heavenly stomach swooping feeling. In this case, I saw Tristan and Evie’s gradual descent from adversaries to lovers to friends to HEA. Reader, it was glorious.  I am also a huge fan of gestures and Tristan makes so many, big and small. His love has been just bubbling under the surface since they were children but he had been so emotionally abused that he failed to recognize his feelings for what they were and oh when he finally does *swoons dramatically* The romance is always front and center but this book is heavy on the history so if that’s not your jam then steer clear. There’s no historical wallpapering here, this author does her research and pairs it brilliantly with the romance. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading to look up a historical detail in this book (vinegar Valentine’s are a rabbit hole. Google at your own peril). So all this word vomit was to say that this is the ultimate most epic-est enemies to lovers slow burn and I loved every single detail, every glance, every touch, every word of dialogue. It was simply glorious. If I had a quibble is that I wish there had been more steamy sex scenes but the sexual tension made up for it. The peek at the next book has me making grabby hands because sweet Hattie is being paired with an anti-hero and I have never anticipated any book more. Five solid enthusiastic stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Keertana

    I am so, completely, disappointed that an author who clearly takes great pains in her research of feminist history didn’t realize that she promoted cultural appropriation in her novel. Dunmore’s historical romances are deliciously dramatic and always promise to be fun while featuring strong-willed heroines who find love without compromising their core values or close female friendships. I adored her debut. And while I did enjoy her sophomore novel, too, I’m increasingly confused how her blatant I am so, completely, disappointed that an author who clearly takes great pains in her research of feminist history didn’t realize that she promoted cultural appropriation in her novel. Dunmore’s historical romances are deliciously dramatic and always promise to be fun while featuring strong-willed heroines who find love without compromising their core values or close female friendships. I adored her debut. And while I did enjoy her sophomore novel, too, I’m increasingly confused how her blatant use of cultural appropriation wasn’t picked up by anyone else in the process of turning this story from a manuscript to a published book. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to disclose that the hero, a recently returned war hero who spent time on the subcontinent, has a tattoo of the Hindu god, Shiva, on his chest. While this does serve as an important plot point, it could have easily been altered, IMO, in order to prevent sheer disrespect towards another culture and religion. Even if this is mere fiction, it’s still not okay. The fact that the character obtains this tattoo as a result of British colonialism is an added layer of insult. To me, this inclusion just underlies that (1) the publishing industry is deeply problematic if historical fiction novels can’t be censored for colonialism and cultural appropriation and (2) somehow, in 2020, white people still think it’s okay to get a tattoo of a Hindu God or Goddess because of how “exotic” it looks. Although the author did not use this term in the novel, the tattoo served its purpose in the plot due to qualities which were deemed unusual by the West. I don’t believe in cancel culture, but I do hope the author issues an apology for this grave oversight on the part of both herself and her entire team.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Reads

    I don’t typically read historical romances but Evie Dunmore’s first novel, Bringing Down the Duke totally hooked me. Her sophomore follow up, A Rogue of One’s Own solidified her as a must read author for me. Lucie has dedicated her life to the women’s suffragist movement and is a strong and witty woman who has given up everything including her reputation to fight for women’s rights. She has finally succeeded in purchasing 50% of the shares of a publishing house which she plans to use to raise aw I don’t typically read historical romances but Evie Dunmore’s first novel, Bringing Down the Duke totally hooked me. Her sophomore follow up, A Rogue of One’s Own solidified her as a must read author for me. Lucie has dedicated her life to the women’s suffragist movement and is a strong and witty woman who has given up everything including her reputation to fight for women’s rights. She has finally succeeded in purchasing 50% of the shares of a publishing house which she plans to use to raise awareness for her cause. Much to her dismay, Lucie quickly learns that the other 50% of the shares have been purchased by none other than her nemesis, Lord Tristen Ballentine. Tristen and Lucie knew each other growing up and he used to constantly play pranks on her. As a grown man, he is now constantly thrown in her face on the covers of gossips rags for his sexual escapades. He makes it clear he won’t allow Lucie to publish anything that can hurt the sales of their publishing house. Lucie and Tristen begin a game of cat and mouse that was so much fun to read. This is a classic hate to love romance with loveable characters and witty banter in a perfect setting. Lucie and Tristen’s chemistry flows off the pages and they are both complex and multidimensional characters. I loved that they could both hold their own and challenge each other. No damsel in distress here. This book was also perfectly paced and shares a notes section explaining where things fit into the real historic timeline which I found really interesting. A Rogue of One’s Own can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading both books. I can’t wait for Hattie’s story next!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I had read and loved the previous book in this series and there was no way I was skipping this one. I love love loved Lucie and Tristan. They’re both sassy and so good at pushing each other’s buttons. I loved that they had history from childhood and basically every single thing about them, especially when together. Plot wise, it was good. The relationship between the two of them progressed organically and I was reveling in the tension. I could have done with a million more scenes of them togethe I had read and loved the previous book in this series and there was no way I was skipping this one. I love love loved Lucie and Tristan. They’re both sassy and so good at pushing each other’s buttons. I loved that they had history from childhood and basically every single thing about them, especially when together. Plot wise, it was good. The relationship between the two of them progressed organically and I was reveling in the tension. I could have done with a million more scenes of them together, but I’m just being greedy. Oh, and the ending was fantastic. Overall, the main characters captivated me from the first page and this story had me sneaking chapters while at work. I can’t wait to see what happens with the next book. **Huge thanks to Berkley for providing the arc free of charge**

  28. 5 out of 5

    Addie H

    Tropes: Unstarched (her), Enemies to Lovers, Forbidden Love, Opposites Attract, Spinster, Work Relationship So here’s the deal. The romance? Check. Sizzles, electric, tender, charming, riveting, emotional, at times uncomfortable, every scene they have together is FANTASTIC. The other parts? Well, it’s so busy. So many characters, so many plot lines – it get’s a bit exhausting, and takes too much away from the romance. Such a shame, or I would have given it full score. 4 stars. ***** - She wanted to Tropes: Unstarched (her), Enemies to Lovers, Forbidden Love, Opposites Attract, Spinster, Work Relationship So here’s the deal. The romance? Check. Sizzles, electric, tender, charming, riveting, emotional, at times uncomfortable, every scene they have together is FANTASTIC. The other parts? Well, it’s so busy. So many characters, so many plot lines – it get’s a bit exhausting, and takes too much away from the romance. Such a shame, or I would have given it full score. 4 stars. ***** - She wanted to smack the smirk off his soft mouth. She wanted to do all sorts of things to his mouth. How feebleminded, to want a man she disliked. ***** - Perhaps I am trying to get into your good graces, so you will give in to your attraction at last and come to me.” - She could not trust him; worse, she could not trust herself around him. Tristan would never reliably act the gentleman and save her from her own audacity. He would go along as far as her curiosity, no, her weakness, would take them, and provoke her to go further still. - He caught her descending the last few steps of the main stairs. And the Great Hall fell away. For a beat, there was only the dainty woman in red. Not red; crimson. Like his favorite coat. Like the ruby on his ring. Like the color of blood on its way to the heart. His mouth went dry despite the brandy. - She tossed her head. “Well. They say all is fair in love and war.” Right. “Then war it is,” he murmured. From a distance came the clatter of his cane hitting the floor. His coat, his hat, his jacket thudded behind him as he stalked toward her; by the time he towered over her, she looked alarmed and he was on the last button on his waistcoat. - He was careful with her, she felt it in the slowness of his advance, as though they were moving through honey. It was in the tenderness of his lips against her cheeks, her nose, her brow, as he sought to soothe the pressure of his possession. He was careful as though she were breakable in his hands. - He was holding her face, and she felt his thumbs, very gently, touch her cheekbones. “Perhaps I have always liked and admired you, Lucie.” Her mind blanked. - She burrowed into him when he tried to deposit her under the coverlet. “I told you not to come,” she murmured, drunk with sleep. He kneeled down next to the bed and leaned his forehead against hers. “I know. I did not listen. I shall leave.” Her hand searched and slipped beneath his coat, and he stilled. “Stay,” she said. - She paused, half distracted by his fingers caressing the small of her back through the fine cotton of her morning dress. She had gone from a lifetime of never being touched by another to being kissed or petted in abundance when he was near, and the wondrousness of it was not wearing off. ***** - What puzzled her most was that nothing had been missing from her life before him—how could he feel essential now?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    I have been highly anticipating this suffragette era historical romance and the devouring of it didn’t disappoint. The highlights include: – a cat POV (small but memorable) – slow burn – poetry to swoon you into the present century – Oscar Wilde cameo – all the feminism a woman could need Boudicca turned and was on her way down to the kitchen, because frankly, she was a cat, not a foot warmer. A lady might keep a pug for such services. The two characters for this instalment were Lady Lucie, long since I have been highly anticipating this suffragette era historical romance and the devouring of it didn’t disappoint. The highlights include: – a cat POV (small but memorable) – slow burn – poetry to swoon you into the present century – Oscar Wilde cameo – all the feminism a woman could need Boudicca turned and was on her way down to the kitchen, because frankly, she was a cat, not a foot warmer. A lady might keep a pug for such services. The two characters for this instalment were Lady Lucie, long since cast out from her family and status and her old, childhood acquaintance Lord Tristan. Recently returned from the wars, Tristan had been rogue-ing his way through London supposedly and Lucie couldn’t have been less impressed. These two found work foisting them into one another’s presence and I could see Tristan’s sweet centre; Lucie could not. This was a slow-burning story, a connection forming over time with some beautiful building and foundations. I enjoyed reading Lucie’s spinsterdom with Boudicca but I loved it more when her plans crumbled and Tristan wormed his way into her heart. “Your stubborn courage humbles me. Your rage inspires me.” Tristan’s poet-nature was simply beautiful and his use of Tennyson's Princess poem swooned me hard. I thoroughly enjoyed A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN and nothing about the book disappointed. Evie Dunmore is able to follow up with a great sequel and so I trust her to deliver repeatedly now. I can’t wait for more of her feminist-themed historical romance, she commands this era with such skill. Thank you to Little Brown UK for the #gifted copy. This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog. (side note: I am aware of some contraversies regarding a plot point and I would nudge you to check those reviews out)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    I've put off reading this book, despite it being one of my most anticipated releases, because I was concerned about the early feedback that detailed some questionable choices within the story. And I am so thankful for those reviewers putting in time and emotional labour to express their feelings about some of these choices. As a result I am left with complicated emotions about this story because the central plot between Lucie and Tristan? At first I wasn't drawn in at all, I actually set this dow I've put off reading this book, despite it being one of my most anticipated releases, because I was concerned about the early feedback that detailed some questionable choices within the story. And I am so thankful for those reviewers putting in time and emotional labour to express their feelings about some of these choices. As a result I am left with complicated emotions about this story because the central plot between Lucie and Tristan? At first I wasn't drawn in at all, I actually set this down a few chapters in and didn't touch it for over a week, but once things picked up? I was hooked. I have no doubt that Lucie won't be a favourite heroine for many readers as she's prickly and had a moment or two of being awful to her friends because of complex emotions but I also loved that Dunmore wrote her this way. Infact I appreciate how she writes all her female characters and how enduring the friendships are between these very different women who also feel so different despite the cause that unites them. Equally I really enjoyed the revelations behind Tristan's character and motivations which is why one of those dreaded things I was forewarned about.. just honestly didn't make sense to me. The whole point truly could've been removed, replaced with something else, and it would've made no difference -- actually, that's not true. It would've made a huge difference to those who were upset by seeing it but for the purpose it served in the story? Anything else, literally anything, could've replaced it. Besides that glaring bit, I did like that he was flawed but not blinded and the way he listened, the way he pivoted to incorporate new information, emotional feedback, all of it, was lovely. I truly enjoyed these two together. As for the queer rep, I found that a bit muddied. Because while it was something that interested me going into the book, I didn't quite find it was used much at all. Except to tie into the quote-unquote villain not being someone irrationally infatuated with the heroine, or someone she had spurned, but the hero. This is another thing that, I think, could've just been written out of the story, too. Because overall that character just felt too.. sad, too pathetic, even before he set out to get his vengeance. Also I don't think he was sober in a single scene? Which wasn't a great look. And honestly said character kind of felt like the "telling" version of proving that Tristan was bi, without actually doing the work, which is reinforced by the teaching moment at the end of the book that is supposedly meant to clear the air and resolve things. It felt like a good scene, a positive moment, but ultimately it leaves the character having been used a plot device and nothing more. Through a strictly romance lens? It was a satisfying read. Some of the elements surrounding said romance? Less so. Which is why as of right now I'm just not sure what or how to rate it. I do plan to read on in this series because I think Dunmore is a strong and intelligent writer. I just hope some, if not all, of the feedback from this book makes it's way either to her or her editor. If this book interests you, I highly encourage you visit some critical reviews in your feed. I'd like to shout out the following : Aarya, Blackjack, Emma, Sajal. And as with all reviews, those that are #ownvoices should always take precedence.

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