A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN is the second in Evie Dunmore’s outstanding series, A League of Extraordinary Women. (If you haven’t read her debut, treat yourself and buy both books.)
Set in Oxford and London during the suffragette era, this novel is rich with Victorian color and filled with savvy women, including Lady Lucy, who are scheming to amend the Married Property Act.
Fierce, smart, driven, and opinionated, Lucie has given up everything—including her family—for the Cause. She’s far too busy rescuing women and fighting for their rights to care about frivolous pursuits such as fashion, flirting, or her old nemesis, Lord Ballantine (Tristan).
Tristan, the second son of a cruel earl, has returned from war in Afghanistan with a diamond ear stud and the Victoria Cross for bravery. The epitome of male beauty, he appears to be devoting himself to hedonism, which is exactly what Lucie would expect from the boy who once tormented her. Unbeknown to Lucie, however, the infamous rake always found her fascinating and bewitching. He’s also a successful poet who cares little for society’s opinions. In many respects, they’re both outcasts—he just hides it better.
Everything changes when Tristan unexpectedly becomes heir to the earldom. His father demands Tristan change his ways, marry, and ensure the line of succession. Tristan devices a counter plan … only to have it complicated by Lucie. They both need ownership of a London publishing house—for very different reasons—but end up as partners. Sparks and banter fly, until Tristan proposes a sinful solution, which Lucie accepts.
Lucie is my favorite kind of romantic heroine: a spunky woman who takes no prisoners. Tristan is my favorite kind of romantic hero: damaged to the core. The result is a beautifully-written historical romp. Meeting Oscar Wilde was a bonus, and I especially enjoyed the subplot about Tristan’s mother (and the implication that she suffered from bipolar disorder).
I finished A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN in a single day—rare for me—and want more of Lucie and Tristan!