Written by: Shana Galen
Series: The Survivors Series #2
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, Regency
Format: ARC, eBook
Sexy Times: Yes and a heavy focus on consent.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady can do anything a man can do: backwards and in high-heeled dancing slippers.
Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She's running a ramshackle orphanage, London's worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.
Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he's handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.
Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance...
What I Liked
The Main Characters
Both Neil and Julia have such a great strength of character and history that has both led them to this point in their lives. We have a heroine who admits she was frivolous and shallow before suffering great loss and gaining a new viewpoint on life and a hero who is dealing with the guilt of surviving a war when he values himself very little. Their stories are believable and relatable. The characters have great chemistry and it never feels forced.
The Background Setting
I really enjoyed the background setting of the orphanage and Spitalfields as it does give more of an insight into what London was truly like for those lower classes. The villain feels realistic and a natural product of the Spitalfields.
The Focus on Consent
There is a major focus on consent in this book which I absolutely adore.
“He had to allow her to pull away. He’d been raised as a gentleman. He knew when a lady resisted, a gentleman released her.”
One of the best description of an orgasm I’ve read
“She felt as though her body was the fluffy dandelion seeds, blown apart by a wild gust of wind.”
What I Didn’t Like
The Hero undermining the Heroine
Probably my only issue was the way the hero wanted to manage the heroine and how he undermined her position in the orphanage. However, this is very much a reflection of the time period and his background more than anything.
The story grabbed me quite quickly and I felt invested in the characters from very early on.
Their stories felt well round and believable. The author never strayed too far from the main characters but still gave us a taste of some of the other heroes in the survivors club setting up the next book quite nicely.
But the best part about this book was the chemistry between the main characters. Their connection felt real and compelling and the characters never felt overdone or melodramatic.
This was my first Shana Galen book and I can’t wait to read more.