Tuesday, August 24, 2021

BLOG TOUR BOOK REVIEW: Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell

Welcome to my blog tour book review! Thank you to Netgalley for this e-galley.

Billed as a reverse My Fair Lady, Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell is a lovely just-released Regency Romance, the first in a new series. I haven’t read this author before, but I’ll definitely be following this series.

Rafe Audley is the illegitimate son of the Duke of Bentley. Since age thirteen, he has been raising his siblings alone, with no help from the man who sired him. Growing up in a coal-mining town, he went early into the mines and has risen to the respected position of foreman. Despite the dangers to himself and his younger brother, and despite the lack of opportunity for his sister, Rafe is proud of his accomplishments and has no wish to ever meet the father he despises.

Edwina Dalyrmple is the illegitimate daughter of an earl who acknowledged her once upon a time, but then cut her off in deference to his wife. Alone in the world, unable to take a place in “Polite Society,” Edwina embarks on a career as a governess-of-sorts to young women who have the opportunity to rise socially but need polish. If anything, Edwina knows the rules. She would give anything to regain her place in her father’s heart, but, in the meantime, she has to guard her reputation carefully and stay out of his sphere.

When the Duke of Bentley decides he wants to acknowledge Rafe’s existence, he hires Edwina to teach the coal miner how to behave properly, then bring him to London. Rafe, infuriated, is dead-set against it. However, Edwina will not take no for an answer. She’ll give him those lessons whether he wants them or not.

This is a fun story with surprising depth. While Rafe can be very rude and bullying, he also has a heart and turns contrite before losing the reader’s sympathy or Edwina’s. Edwina is an intelligent, feisty heroine whose reliance on perfect manners and sometimes forced good humor make her more than a match for Rafe’s scowling sulks. The sex scenes are steamy, which could seem a bit hypocritical given the protagonists’ judgey-ness of their respective parents’ extramarital indiscretions, but they recognize this. It leads to better understanding and self-awareness. These two belong together. They earn their HEA.

From the publisher:

Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sinful Brides Series and the Heart of a Duke Series. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. She enjoys torturing her couples before they earn their well-deserved happily ever after. Originally from Southern Connecticut, Christi now resides in North Carolina, where she spends her time writing and being a mommy to an energetic little boy and mischievous twin girls who offer an endless source of story ideas. Learn more at christicaldwell.com.

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