Saturday, January 7, 2017

#ARC Review || Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins

Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins
ARC via Publisher + Netgalley
Goodreads || Amazon
Published: January 10, 2017 || St. Martin's


When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another...

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?

When Lady Celeste Beauchamp suddenly dies, she leaves her entire estate to four ladies who, if they’d been born male, would most likely be at the very top of their field. These ‘bluestockings’ are the feminists of Victorian society, smart beyond belief, free thinkers, and just generally too amazing to comprehend. Luckily, they’re surrounded by the relatives of Lady Celeste, who was also a female scholar. These relatives adored her. When our leading lady, Miss Ivy Wareham, receives a letter from the deceased claiming that she’d been murdered and that Ivy and her nephew, the handsome marquees who is dead set against any of the four lady scholars inheriting the estate, with finding out who wanted her dead. Mystery, romance, scandal, and feminism. What could be better?

Reason Number One. These ladies are fierce as hell. They challenge the ideals that confine woman in Victorian society. By questioning the differing standards that men and women are held by—the word ‘ruin’ being placed on women and not men, and thereby treating females like rotten meat instead of living, breathing people—they make the people around them also re-evaluate how the world is run. I adore this more than I adore the romance. And y’all, I freaking love romance.

Reasons Number Two. THE ROMANCE. Did I not just inform you that the romance has me swooning? CONSENT IS CLEAR AND EXPLAINED. There are ramifications for actions. *muffles laughter* And Y ’ A L L, choices are given and not forced upon people. These folks don’t act like pretentious assholes when it comes to the romance. Who knew a working moral compass and the genuine ability to listen to what people are saying are helpful contributions to a relationship? Seriously? Who freaking knew?

Reason Number Three. The mystery. I am SO here for it. Unexplained death? The murderer still at large? WHO IS IT? What secrets are lurking in the mansion? What is lurking in the shadows? Our linguist turns into a regular detective for this segment of awesome. Her puppy-dog like sidekick follows closely behind.

BONUS: this is because I love all y’all. I ALSO LOVE THE FRIENDSHIP. Even more than romantic relationships (or however you wish to see them) basic friendships are incredibly important. These ladies are not accepted by the world that they live in because they are females who are smart and refused to conform to what the society believes a woman to be. In each other they find shared existences, experiences, and people who really appreciate and accept who the others are, and what they love. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Total acceptance? Understanding? Camaraderie?

Overall, this book was stellar. I laughed and swooned. How much more can I ask for?

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