Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore
A League of Extraordinary Women #3
09/07/2021 by Berkley
Review by Angela
This series has been a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I simply adored the first book in the series and loved the premise of this group of women who are fighting for suffrage and women’s rights. On the other hand, book two left me irritated and angry after getting almost to the end and running into the tried, cliche gay villain trope. Did not like at all. So I went into Portrait of a Scotsman with a hopeful attitude, but bracing myself.
I did end up liking this book, but lord have mercy it took me a bit. I saw this book somewhere described as a marriage of convenience trope, and ahhhh… not quite. This is a mash-up of the forced marriage, enemies to lovers. and forced proximity tropes. It took me several days to read it because these two really had no use for each other when they first get married. The marriage takes place because they are discovered leaning in together, almost embracing, and everyone who has ever read historical romance knows what comes next when a group of well-to-do people discovers an unwed couple in a compromising position. What Hattie doesn’t realize until after the marriage takes place is that she was tricked by her new husband and the whole thing was a set-up. She is justifiably angry.
These two were so damn mean to each other for almost the entire first half that I wanted to alternately toss both of them into a lake. She is rude and childish and he is gruff (not in a good way) and treats her like a meaningless piece of fluff, it was frustrating. I literally could not see a way for this couple to move forward into a HEA in any believable way.
But then I got to the second half where Hattie finds her purpose and that purpose meshes with Lucian’s. Their drive to make the lives of the coal town inhabitants better was lovely. The getting to know each other was wonderful. Their lustiness, which be prepared doesn’t happen until almost 75% in, was sexy. I was pumped! Maybe this HEA could really happen! YAY!
I won’t go into exactly what happens at the end, (I’ll let that be a surprise) but I did not see it coming. Although I do think it was definitely the right way to guide this couple to their forever. So in the end I was happy with this romance, even if it took me a while to get there.
Final grade- C
I hated the first book, but bought the second one when it was on sale. I haven’t read it yet, but hearing about the gay villain thing made me pause on reading it. Sigh. I am always on the lookout for new historical authors to try, and I like to try a couple of books before I put an author on my “maybe not” list, but I’m not getting warm fuzzies here. Thanks for the review.
Part of me wants to read the last book in the series, and the other part wonders why I want to. ♀️
I’m not much of an HR reader, so I doubt I’ll be reading this one, but I just have to say that every Evie Dunmore cover I’ve seen looks like it’s about 21st century characters involved in historical cosplay. There’s absolutely nothing period or accurate about the covers.
So ready to get back to clinch covers and be done with the cutesy cartoon ones.