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…
Comment: After having really loved the first book in this A League of Extraordinary Women series by Evie Dunmore, I obviously had to read the rest and this is book #2, featuring Lucie, a friend of Annabelle, the protagonist of the first story.
This book, like the previous one, has many ingredients I tend to enjoy while reading a novel. The protagonists at odds but secretly curious about the other person, external obstacles to their romance, serious issues that matter to them and a strong moral compass which allows them to suggest ultimatums but in truth, they always seem to make the right choice.
This story follows the central theme of the lack of woman's rights in the 19th century. The main characters might have different goals in their lives when this book begins, but at the back of everything is how mistreated women were and how laws were slow to be presented and accepted so that women might have some protection if a relationship went badly. This is even more poignant when we all know now so many of the laws already in place took so long to happen and many of the women who fought for it never saw it become a reality.
I suppose this is why I like Lucie's dedication to what she calls the Cause. We spend our whole lives, sometimes, not really having something to dedicate ourselves to and to think we are free to make choices simply because someone once didn't have the same possibility... of course, for romance purposes, the fact Lucie acts so intransigent is seen as something slightly negative and I liked how the author researched factual examples of women who were suffragists and had a personal life, after all we all have to live with others and to cultivate family and Causes can be done.
Their relationship was like cat and mouse but it was clear they were already interested in one another before they started spending more together for several reasons. I think the author did it well, in portraying their attraction but also their admiration as time went by, for who they were and for the positive aspects each one saw in the other, mainly the fact they could be a team at many levels and not just as a romantic couple.
The external obstacles were a bit too convenient and placed in a way we know something bad will eventually happen and that is the peak of the problem. There are two types of antagonists here, the obvious one such as Tristan's father, and others who act due to superficial reasons but still cause quite an effect. It was because of this that the best scene in the book happens (best for me, of course) but that doesn't mean instant HEA altogether. I liked the author planned things and that the end was more or less suitable. I say this because my more romantic side wouldn't have minded something even sweeter.
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