Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
⭐️ Q: what do you feel like is your most common star rating?
A sapphic heist romance between a pianist & a weaver, Olivia Waite’s The Hellion’s Waltz has some sentences that really stand out to me in that wow kind of way 🤩, an intriguing premise, & two leads who find ways to make use of their great talents for the good of others.
That sounds divine to me. Ultimately I didn’t swoon as much as I might have hoped for this one but I did find *a lot* to appreciate about the story.
Sophie Roseingrave & her large, musically-inclined family have just moved from London to a much smaller town after being taken advantage of by a conman who used musical instruction to pull off his scheming. She hasn’t played piano in the months since, & she’s anxious at the thought.
So when she sees a beautiful stranger—who turns out to be Maddie Crewe—apparently trying to pull one over on a local fabric shop-owner, she’s determined to stop it.
It turns out, however, that Maddie & a crew of members from the Weavers’ Library are working together to right injustice & take down the fabric shop-owner, who’s been taking advantage of people who have no legal recourse to fight back.
Sophie wants to help Maddie. She also wants to kiss her & vice versa.
What works for me in The Hellion’s Waltz is first its consideration of social issues & how it includes some pertinent items of material history. Through Maddie & the other members of her library I learned more about factory conditions, the lack of options available to the women who wished to protest them, & Combinations (a term I had never heard of before). Similarly it was cool learning more about pianos & weaving.
Emotionally, Sophie has an intriguing arc, facing her anxiety & being brave thanks to applause-worthy moments like her mom’s speech. Later Sophie herself has a fantastic speech about making mistakes & it’s so good I could envision it celebrated on a motivational embroidery hoop.
When it comes to the relationship between leads, the pacing was a bit off for me. First, I wanted to see the leads together more & later, when things start really moving they rush a smidge for my taste.
But ultimately The Hellion’s Waltz is well-written, wise, & soft & I recommend it.
4 .5 ⭐️. Release date: 06/15.
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