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.
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?
Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore is the third book in her “A League of Extraordinary Women” series.
While reading that book, I came across a neighbor who asked me what I was reading and how I found the book.
I told her:” It’s a historical romance smartly written. You learn a lot of things about women’s right in Great Britain at the end of the 19th century. It’s easy to read, enlightening, smart, sassy and spicy.”
Well, this is this series in a nutshell!
Evie Dunmore, under the cover of romance is enlightening us about women’s right and the fights led by the suffragists.
Armed with a fluid but beautiful prose and supported by intelligent and moving characters, Evie Dunmore reaches her goal to open our eyes and make us realize how lucky most of us living in the Western world are in our modern age.
Third book in interconnected standalones, what’s Portrait of a Scotsman about?
It centers around Hattie Greenfield, heiress of well-established family of bankers and Lucian Blackstone, a ruthless and dark financier, from very new money.
Lucien is dead set on establishing himself among the peers of England and will manipulate Hattie to reach his goal, linking her fate to his.
Hattie is friend with Anabelle, Lucie and Catriona, the tight knit bunch of friends working tirelessly for the suffragists cause.
Hattie comes from a family of bankers and everyone at the Friday table is talking about stocks and investments while Hattie…never knew how to write without mistakes and has problems with calculation.
As a result, she always has been seen as the “lovely one”. But Hattie is not satisfied with that watered down version of herself.
“Besides, there was an expectation that women depicted quaint motifs. And while she liked her dresses frilly and her novels swoony, Harriet wanted something different for her art…She wanted…She supposed she foremost wanted.”
Hattie is studying art in Oxford, so she is far from silly but let’s just say that compared to her family she’s always suffered from an inferiority complex. And she has always aimed to please, even if it was against her true wishes.
In that, Hattie opened my eyes on the condition of women at that time.
“Her words, they came from a place desiring to please or appease, to appear normal or silly, which were usually considered the same in a girl. It was a malaise afflicting most women in Britain, this compulsion to say one thing while thinking another, to agree to things one disliked, to laugh about jokes that were dull.”
But everything will change when she’ll meet Julian Blackthorn. He will awaken something a little wild and reckless in Hattie.
Julian Blackstone is a hard and cynical man, forged by his past. He’s made his own fortune, raising far above his station and we’ll learn more about his childhood and about what made him who he is now.
There is no denying that he is incredibly intelligent, driven and ruthless.
“Mr Blackstone gave her a thin smile. “It’s simple. Just assume people are chiefly motivated by convenience, vanity or greed. Any product serving those will be a commercial success.””
But in fact, beneath that veneer of cold financier, what Julian truly is, he is a modern Robin Hood. A vigilante.
It was fascinating to see their relationship unfurl, from coerced into marriage to willing participant to another twist!
As improbable as it seemed at first glance, Hattie and Lucian were well assorted. Like opposite attracts. We got spice between the sheets! So much spice! Nearly FSOG worthy.
Evie Dunmore did more than talk about the women’s condition in Portrait of a Scotsman. She will also expose the awful conditions miners lived in. I learned a lot about greedy mine’s owners, unsafe practices, unions, women and child’s work…
Truly I can’t recommend these books enough!
Thanks for reading.