Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Victory Editing Netgalley Co-op in exchange for an honest review. Receiving an ARC in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review
Cordelia Kelly is busy, focused, worried about the future of her fledgling bookbinding business. When a handsome man stops her on the street to pester her with questions, she gives him the consideration he deserves: none.
That handsome man happens to be the Duke of Stroud, and he finds Cordelia’s hostility hilarious. He gives chase, if only for the pleasure of provoking her again.
Within days of meeting Cordelia, Stroud sets a marching band on a matchmaking mama, defaces a local monument, and ropes Cordelia into a round of his favorite game.
In that same time, Cordelia stitches together the complete works of Mary Wollstonecraft, enthusiastically devotes herself to a petition demanding expanded legal rights for married women, and beats Stroud at his own game.
Most people dismiss Stroud as a fool—himself included. When Cordelia sees past his lighthearted facade, he’s terrified and also… in love?
Stroud barges into Cordelia’s life, offering her all the material and sensual temptations she’s learned to do without. She usually has willpower to spare, but turning him down takes all of it, and then some. He’s oddly irresistible.
Or maybe they’re just perfect for one another (Netgalley, 2021).
I always love it when I find a book I simply can’t put down. Erin Satie’s “Book of Love” was definitely one such book. Although the plot was fairly simple as is often typical of romance novels, the characters themselves kept me enthralled until the very end.
I admired Cordelia Kelly from the first moment the reader is introduced to her. Here is a woman who came from a privileged background and gave up the security that came with it in order to support her friend. It also didn’t hurt that Cordelia is an avid reader and works as a bookbinder, which is a profession I would have loved if I were living in the Victorian Era.
Then there is Alistair “Rip”, the Duke of Stroud. He’s just such a gentle giant!. Alistair is a sweet man, who has such low self esteem due to his upbringing. From the very first page, as the reader, you can see that his heart is as large as the rest of his body and that he would do just about anything for those he loves.
I really enjoyed the courtship between Alistair and Cordelia. They had an instant connection, but as a result of past trauma were slow to trust the attraction. Watching them slowly open up to one another and develop a true partnership was a pleasure to read.
Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5. If you are interested in life in the Victorian Era or just love a good romance then this is the perfect book for you. My gratitude goes to Victory Editing Netgalley Co-op for allowing me to read this ARC and I’ve already added several of Erin Satie’s other books to my to read list.
Quotes I Found Significant:
She thought of her bindings as a response to the text, a cross between a review and a tribute.
It wasn’t that he enjoyed rudeness or anger or reluctance- he didn’t- or took pleasure in harassing strangers, let alone women. But he liked cleverness, a quick tongue attached to a quicker mind.
He didn’t play to win. He couldn’t, really. It wouldn’t be sporting. He played to play. He loved a good game. Loved a good player. And he loved to be surprised.
But it was in Cordelia’s nature to speak her mind.