Read on for a summary, my review, & about the author. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell makes her Berkley debut this summer with ALONG CAME A LADY (Berkley Mass Market; August 24, 2021), a sparkling, banter-filled, enemies-to-lovers tale about letting go of society’s preconceived notions and finding love.
In a reverse retelling of My Fair Lady, ALONG CAME A LADY follows the budding romance between the irascible son of a duke and the lady hired to teach him the ways of a gentleman. As the lessons go on, the two engage in a battle of wits and passion. Rafe Audley detests his father, the Duke of Bentley, for abandoning his family. Born illegitimate, Rafe has worked the mines his whole life to care for his younger siblings. Edwina Dalrymple has spent her life making a name for herself as an instructor in etiquette, and she has yet to fail in preparing her charges for Polite Society. Edwina soon learns that Rafe is no ordinary charge. He is wholly uninterested in joining the Gentry, making his lessons Edwina’s most difficult undertaking yet. Taming the foreman would surely elevate her status, but can Edwina put her own feelings aside in order to get the job done? As the bold teacher and stubborn pupil work to sabotage each other at every turn, Edwina and Rafe will learn that while opposites attract, the unlikely pair have more in common than they think.
📖 Q: how do you feel about Pygmalion stories? Have a fave?
Give me *all* the working-class MCs & Christi Caldwell’s Along Came a Lady has a hero named Rafe Audley with coal-stained hands 😍.
He’s also the illegitimate son of a duke & when etiquette instructor Miss Edwina Dalrymple approaches him on behalf of his father, urging him to travel to London, undertake etiquette lessons, & be recognized in London society, he is quite firm in his refusal.
What’s a determined woman—who is also illegitimate, though she’s told no one—to do, except everything she can to convince him, thereby ensuring her own professional & personal safety?
Along Came a Lady has such great interplay between leads—a grumpy, scowling MC who’s reluctantly intrigued by the other & a relentlessly cheerful, gracious, & stubborn MC who doesn’t get sarcasm, which the first MC finds “endearing.” I’d also like to add that Rafe blushes, a fact which has my adoration.
The internal conflicts for both MCs are compellingly drawn & Caldwell makes it apparent that being illegitimate is a source of commonality between them & has also taken its toll on them in different ways.
The unique pressures facing women—the ability of rich men to be irresponsible or neglectful without facing the consequences, if they wish—is explored throughout the book & Rafe comes to his own realizations about that (though I did want it explored even more in regards to his mother).
This is a sweet story with some bite to it, a Pygmalion retelling with moments of fun & heartache.
4 ⭐️. Out now!
About the Author.
Author photo by Kimberly Rocha
Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sinful Brides Series and the Heart of a Duke Series. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. She enjoys torturing her couples before they earn their well-deserved happily ever after. Originally from Southern Connecticut, Christi now resides in North Carolina, where she spends her time writing and being a mommy to an energetic little boy and mischievous twin girls who offer an endless source of story ideas. Learn more at christicaldwell.com.
Give me that HEA, please.
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