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Portrait of a Scotsman (A League of…

Portrait of a Scotsman (A League of Extraordinary Women) (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Evie Dunmore (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1066206,842 (3.89)7
Teoksen nimi:Portrait of a Scotsman (A League of Extraordinary Women)
Kirjailijat:Evie Dunmore (Tekijä)
Info:Berkley (2021), 432 pages
Kokoelmat:Luettu, ei oma
Arvio (tähdet):****


Portrait of a Scotsman (tekijä: Evie Dunmore)


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» Katso myös 7 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I wasn't sure about this one though I've enjoyed the rest of the series a lot. Hattie hasn't been my favorite of the extraordinary women but she comes into her own in this book. She's not as interested in business as the rest of her family, but she's inveigled into marriage with Lucian Blackstone, her father's business rival, who's looking for an entree into their society. Lucian is rich but not acceptable, so Hattie can smooth his way.
It's a familiar theme in historical romances but I found this a fresh take. Hattie is a lot more interesting than she appeared in the previous books, and Lucian is a good match despite his initial maneuvering. This is a great series and I heartily recommend it to all lovers of historical romances. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Oct 31, 2021 |
I loved Lucian so much that I was fully prepared to give this book four stars (due to a couple of minor quibbles I had that prevented me from fully adoring this book.)

Then the last two chapters and a epilogue happened... And my love for Lucian wasn't enough to merit a fourth star any longer. It seemed as if Evie Dunmore had been carefully steering the story along as an engineer would steer a train down the tracks for 90% of the book, but then, for no apparent reason, the story-train derailed and left its reader-passengers discombobulated (although thankfully not physically injured. It's just a bad metaphor, after all.)

Without getting into spoiler-y details, it felt like an unnecessary plot shift... And I didn't like it. Even a happy ending can be soured when the pages immediately leading up to it are rushed and unsatisfactory. So despite a generally-favorable outlook about the first 90% of the book, the final 10% disgruntled me enough that I couldn't truly love it anymore. I'll still read Dunmore's next book, but I sincerely hope that one doesn't have a tacked-on ending. ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
The Author's Note at the end was the best part of the book.

I actually really loved the book's male lead character. Lucian is complex and interesting. I just hated Harriet. I see what Dunmore was trying to do, I know it is hard to draw a character whose actions are shaped by the frustration wrought by a lack of agency, but it is doable and it was not done here. Not to spoil anything but Harriet is essentially sold into marriage, treated as the chattel she legally was at the time, and was lied to about the particulars of the deal. She has a reason to be angry and frustrated and to act out, but her actions are like those of a 2 year-old frustrated with being told she must go to bed though she wants to keep playing. Harriet just seems spoiled and petulant when she interacts with Lucian. Then seems like she was transported 100 years into the future and is Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer as she stomps off without giving a thought to her husband, her friends, of her family to find herself (in a time where "finding oneself" was not a thing.) I think Dunmore saw that the whole thing made Hattie look selfish and childish and that is why she has given our diva a grand soliloquy toward the end explaining herself. But what Dunmore ended up with, despite the soliloquy, was a woman at the last half of the 19th century who put her own needs above everyone else's and who did not look for a way to meet her needs and follow her principles without picking up her marbles and leaving. I do not think I have ever thought the word "petulant" so many times. Dunmore also tries to save Hattie from appearing like the selfish ninny she is by having her be a benevolent queen to the miners' families when the couple goes to Scotland to deal with issues with a mine Lucian owns. Let's just say it did not tip the balance for me and the whole thing felt very savior-y.

An additional note: There were so many anachronisms in this book it was absurd. I don't much look for historical accuracy in romance, but there are some limits. The first time the term "lean in" is used in the Sheryl Sandberg sense it is horrifying. But then it becomes a theme and "lean in" is used at least three other times. Seriously? Also, thought she does not use the term Hattie expresses that she wants to make sure her regard for Lucian is not Stockholm Syndrome. This is years before the phenomenon was identified. There are other similar instances, but these are the most glaring.

There were stretches of this book where I was enjoying it. The process of the main characters falling in love was wonderful. Seeing them talk (and sometimes argue) about Trollope and Austen and Bronte as well as classical philosophy, socialism, the mechanics of British politics, and also have great sex, well that is #goals for most of us. Those sections were beautifully written filled with sexy adventurous consent and respect and pleasure. But then Hattie got in touch with her feelings of marginalization and instead of using her words she simply assumes the worst about her husband. Time after time she chose to stomp off or castigate him rather than asking a couple simple questions -- simply starting a sentence with "did you" rather than "you did" would have made all the difference. Also, many of the attacks seem to stem from upper crust snobbery and a refusal to understand that people who, like her husband, are not "gently bred" have feelings too.

All in all this was one of those books where parts were 5 star and parts were 2 star. I am settling on 3. I can see this working for many readers but I guess I am a harder case. ( )
  Narshkite | Oct 22, 2021 |
I really like this series. I had a hard time getting into this at the beginning, but ended up really liking it. ( )
  littlemuls | Sep 15, 2021 |
Terrific addition to the series. It was an emotional roller-coaster with a Beauty and the Beast feel to it. Like the previous books, this one focuses on particular aspects of the suffrage movement. In this case, most of the focus is on a woman's loss of autonomy when she marries, and some on the plight of women and children in the mining communities.

Hattie and her friends are all members of a group working toward women's suffrage. At the beginning of the book and series, I didn't care for Hattie as she didn't seem to be as deeply invested as the others. I sometimes felt she looked at her involvement more as a form of rebellion against her wealthy father than a true calling. She is also a struggling artist who evades her bodyguard one day to attend a tour of Lucian Blackstone's art collection.

Lucian is a ruthless businessman and self-made man rumored to have ruined more than one peer. The only reason he opened his home for the tour was to attempt influencing members of the peerage into accepting him into their circles. He wants that acceptance to make the contacts he needs to push for the changes he'd like to see happen in the country.

I liked the first meeting between Hattie and Lucian. He wasn't expecting her and mistook her for a different type of woman. Though Hattie was nervous and wary around him, that didn't stop her from standing up to him. Her knowledge and passion intrigued him and attracted him, leading to an explosive kiss. After she left, he discovered who she was and decided she was the perfect solution to his problems. He'd marry her and use her father to get what he wanted. Hattie herself would be an unexpected bonus. To that end, he manipulates events to force a marriage between himself and Hattie.

I enjoyed watching the slow burn development of the relationship between Hattie and Lucian. I liked that Hattie stood up for her needs from the beginning, insisting that she continue her studies and work with her friends. Lucian was surprisingly agreeable. But their marriage gets off to a rough start when Hattie learns of Lucian's actions. Already wary of the attraction that burns between them, Hattie does her best to keep him at a distance. Lucian wants her in his bed, but seduction, not force, is his preferred method. A small taste of passion sends Hattie running for cover, but she doesn't get far.

The confrontation between Lucian and Hattie when he stopped her flight created more of a rift between them. Lucian wasn't about to give in and insisted on Hattie accompanying him to Scotland. While there, the rift narrows as they spend more time together. I liked seeing how Hattie's positive outlook softens some of Lucian's rougher edges. He's more than a little disturbed by his growing feelings for her but can't help wishing for more. At the same time, as Hattie sees a different side of life, she grows to love Lucian for who he is. There are some wonderful scenes of their interactions and the effects on the way they look at things. I especially enjoyed seeing Hattie get involved with the miners' families and search for ways to help them, bringing in her work for women's rights. I loved her ideas.

When disaster strikes at the mine, sending Lucian into a rage against the previous owner of the mine, Lucian carries out his long-planned revenge against him. Horrified by his actions, Hattie tears into Lucian before fleeing back to London. When Lucian catches up to her, she makes it plain that some things must change and that it starts with her. I ached for them both as Hattie made her demands, though I understood why she felt that way. Though it hurt him badly, I loved that Lucian understood and supported her needs. I rooted for them to find their way back to each other and loved how it happened. Their reunion was lovely, and the epilogue showed the changes in them both.

I liked the attention to historical detail. The stories of the miners, their families, and the hardships of their lives painted a vivid picture and drew me deeper into the book. Hattie's idea of using photographs to bring attention to their plight intrigued me. I thoroughly enjoyed the expedition to purchase the camera and supplies. Seeing Hattie's treatment by the shop owner opened Lucian's eyes to the truth behind so many of her complaints. We also get updates on the suffragists' work back in England and the frustration at the glacial progress. I can't wait to read the next book, which I assume will be Catriona's story.

#netgalley ( )
  scoutmomskf | Sep 7, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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