Author: Evie Dunmore
Narrator: Elizabeth Jasicki
Audiobook Length: 16 hours 1 minute
Going toe-to-toe with a brooding Scotsman is rather bold for a respectable suffragist, but when he happens to be one’s unexpected husband, what else is an unwilling bride to do?
London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted “just” three things in life:
1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.
Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain’s peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she’s stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions….
When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old revenge, he has no room for his new wife’s apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.
But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything—as long as she is prepared to lose her heart.
Evie Dunmore’s series A League of Extraordinary Women continues with the third novel, Portrait of a Scotsman. The overarching cause, the women’s suffrage movement in Victorian England continues in this story along with a very sweet and fun romance. In the first novel, Bringing Down the Duke, Annabelle, Lucie, Catriona, and Hattie are introduced as a group of women who are a part of the first admission of women into Oxford. As Lucie and Annabelle each had their own love story, it was nice to see Hattie become the main character. Through a miscommunication with a tour, Hattie meets artist, Lucien Blackstone, who comes from a poor Scottish town. As the two are parting ways, unescorted Hattie and unmarried Lucien are caught together. To save her reputation, the two must marry each other.
Once the two strangers end up married, the two are able to get acquainted and actually learn about each other. This includes their first time in bed together where Hattie has no idea about the logistics considering she was kept in the dark as an upper-class woman. Hattie also is dyslexic, which means her intelligence is often discounted even though she is very bright. While she was a likable character overall, there were some moments where she came across as a little too judgmental of others when she did not appreciate them judging her. Lucien starts as dark and mysterious, where he has a reputation and his own agenda involving revenge. The more he interacts with Hattie, the more the reader gets to see his complexity.
Hattie was a very interesting representation of the time when she was a part of the suffrage cause, but she did not fully comprehend its meaning until she was married and had a wake-up call to the reality. I like the way Dunmore wrote this part of Hattie’s character as it was not that she did not care, but that she gained a new deeper understanding once she was further in the mix. Through Hattie and Lucien’s story, there are many social issues that are explored, such as labor issues, social hierarchy, and, of course, the suffrage movement. While I love the research the author put in for each story, it did bog down the novel a bit as it left a little less space for character development. While the second novel is still my highest rated of the three, this was still an excellent story and I am excited to see what happens next!