Monday, June 19, 2023

Bookshop Cinderella by Laura Lee Guhrke - ARC Review

Fans of Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn will adore this opposites-attract romance featuring a dashing duke, a shy bookshop owner, and a wager that will change their lives forever.

Evie Harlow runs a quaint little bookshop in London, which is the biggest adventure an unmarried woman with no prospects could hope for. Until Maximillian Shaw, Duke of Westbourne, saunters into her shop with a proposition: to win a bet with his friends, he’ll turn her into the diamond of the season. The duke might be devilishly attractive, but Evie has no intention of accepting his ludicrous offer. When disaster strikes her shop, however, she’s left with little choice but to let herself be whisked into his high-society world.

Always happy to help a lady in distress, Max thinks he’s saving Evie from her dull spinster’s life. He’ll help her find a husband and congratulate himself on a job well done. But as shy Evie becomes the shining star he always knew she could be, she somehow steals his heart. And when her reputation is threatened, can Max convince her to choose a glittering, aristocratic life with him over the cozy comfort of her bookshop?

I love a good historical romance that not only tells a story but also uses the setting as part of the story.  There's so much to be added by really using the setting and making it a part of the story, as the constraints of society, what is proper and what is and isn't done can factor in and add a layer to the story.

Evie and Max are one of the couples that work so well in historical romance, he is a Duke and she runs a bookshop, so not someone accustomed to being part of society as she is in trade.  I liked the way they worked it out to have them together and around one another.

There was an additional character that I thought wasn't totally necessary to bring in to the story, but he was only slightly distracting and only pulled me from the story slightly.

This book is definitely an offshoot of the Pygmalion story, but it works and even though it's a bit predicable, it never felt like it was dragging or boring due to having a pretty good idea the arc of the story.

I enjoyed and recommend this title.

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