I loved book 2 of the Hope and Glory series, “The Gilded Lady” so I began the book with enthusiasm. It waned at first when I discovered the opening scene to include a drowning dog, I was relieved at his safe rescue. I then realised our leading characters to be quintessential “star-crossed” lovers. Each doesn’t realise who the other is, a child of the “enemy”. Two feuding families are at the centre and sadly I didn’t realise this from the back cover. It is one of my least favourite tropes. Had I known, I would have skipped this one.

Usually, I look to the writing when the plot doesn’t suit me but I struggled with that too in this one, I found “The Gilded Lady” scintillating but this felt more forced and winding than before. As such, I looked at other reviews for perspective and they too pointed out the slowness I of the action. A content warning too, a dog is killed in the book. All in all, this one isn’t for me, it’s a two out of five on the enJOYment scale.

From the back cover:

Luke Delacroix has the reputation of a charming man-about-town in Gilded Age Washington, DC. In reality, he is secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission is to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

But trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman’s only daughter, whose job as a government photographer gives her unprecedented access to sites throughout the city. Luke is captivated by Marianne’s quick wit and alluring charm, leading them both into a dangerous gamble to reconcile their feelings for each other with Luke’s driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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