Series: Dear Lady Truelove #2
Published by Avon on January 30th 2018
“A woman who was shy and plain, who stammered when she was nervous and had never caught a man’s eye in her life, could hardly be splendid at advising people about love and romance.”
FINAL DECISION: A wonderful emotional story about two people who have a mature and adult relationship thankfully free of misunderstanding and drama. The slow burn of this relationship made me so happy.
THE STORY: During the absence of her recently married sister, Clara Deverill has taken the reins of her family newspaper and the Dear Lady Truelove advice column. The problem is that Clara doesn’t know what advice to give to people having problems with love — until she overhears a conversation between two men which convinces Clara to write a column directed toward the poor woman they are discussing. When Rex Galbraith finds out about the column (which is obviously about the conversation with his friend) he comes in search of Lady Truelove. Clara and Rex soon reach an unexpected agreement involving the Lady Truelove column and an orchestrated “courting” between them in order to satisfy Rex’s family.
OPINION: I loved this book because it was focused almost entirely on the couple and their developing relationship to the exclusion of everything else. No dramatic external storyline, no external barriers to their relationship. This is purely a story of two people developing a love for one another despite their initial belief that they could never be compatible.
Clara first sees Rex when he is giving advice to his friend (which involves lying to her about his intentions) and Clara sees that Rex is a rake who cannot be trusted. Clara has always wanted what is a traditional role — marriage and children, but her sister’s absence has placed her in charge of the newspaper and she begins to find her footing and the self-satisfaction of having a job. While Clara wants to marry, she is determined that she will marry for nothing less than love.
Rex is a man who has seen nothing but bad things come from “love”. He is determined never to marry, but he finds himself enthralled by an innocent and respectable Clara even as he knows that he must keep his distance from her. Although Rex has been a rake, he is an honorable man at heart. (And I think somewhat of a romantic despite his cynical musings about love and marriage).
I absolutely loved the slow burn of this book. The gentle way that these two draw together and eventually find a happy ending. The story of the shy wallflower who tames the rake is often done in romance, but this book is different. The wallflower finds her own footing and refuses to settle for less than what she wants. She is willing not only to sacrifice but also to forge ahead with her own altered plans.
My favorite books are emotional and focused on the couple. This story is about the growth and change in these characters on their journey and I enjoyed every step.
WORTH MENTIONING: I like this historical era (Victorian) where class distinctions are blurring and womens’ roles are expanding.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE TROUBLE WITH TRUE LOVE is the second book in the Dear Lady Truelove series. It is not necessary to read the first book in the series although there are some overlapping characters.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Edelweiss in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.