Lady Maggie Hawkins’s debut was something she’d rather forget–along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she’s a man. . .
FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament–and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.
FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.
Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock. . .but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since. . .forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?
Putting aside a personal niggle I have, it’s a simple fact Joanna Shupe is one of the best new historical romance authors around. Though her first book wasn’t perfect, I saw lots of potential, and I enjoyed this one even more.
Though it has been done in various ways before, the setup for the conflict in this book really drew me in. A young girl with hopes of marriage to a young man she loves (the hero). A man who inexplicably shuns her right when she needs him the most. Revenge and reunion and all the kinds of drama I love in my historical reads. I like a bit of heartbreak in my fictional relationships!
I liked a great deal about both lead characters and their complicated relationship, and while I’m not always a fan of the outrageous heroine who flouts all of Society’s rules, for the most part it worked for me here (though occasionally those parties went a little too far to suspend disbelief).
It’s always nice to have a blond hero, too.
I’m also really looking forward to the third book, and like the characters it will feature.
Of course, there’s the little issue that the text sometimes comes close to drowning in Americanisms, and I’m finding myself more and more frustrated that not just authors, but their editors are incapable of picking up on this. Vacation and first floor and snuck and so many gottens everywhere…
If each of this author’s books is twice as good as the one before it, then Joanna Shupe is an author to look out for.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.