When a coworker recommended The Spinster and the Rake by Eva Devon to me, I was so hype to read it. It’s not secret that I love historical romanceThe Spinster and the Rake is super steamy, with memorable characters including a neurodivergent hero.

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The summary, from Amazon:

The marriage game is afoot in this clever blend of My Fair Lady meets Pride and Prejudice with a twist!

Edward Stanhope, the icy Duke of Thornfield, likes his life in a certain order. Give him a strong drink, a good book, and his dog for company, and he’s content. But when he goes to his library and finds a woman sitting in his chair, petting his dog, what starts as a request for her to leave quickly turns to a fiery battle of wits, leading to a steamy kiss that could ruin them both if they were caught.

So of course, damn it all, that’s when Edward’s aunt walks in, and thereafter announces Miss Georgiana Bly is the future Duchess of Thornfield.

Georgiana was content to be a spinster, spending her days reading and working to keep her family out of debt. But now her days are spent locked away with a growly duke, learning how to be the perfect duchess, and her nights spent fighting the undeniable attraction to a man who was never meant for her.

As their wedding day approaches, the attraction between them burns hot and fierce, but is it enough to melt the duke’s chilly facade?

Buy The Spinster and the Rake here.

Georgiana does not want to attend the party her family has been invited to at the Duke of Thornfield’s home, so she retires to the library to enjoy a book and some solitude. When a grumpy man dressed in ill-fitting breeches and basic clothing tells her to vacate his chair, she assumes he’s a servant, but really it’s the Duke of Thornfield on his way from the stables after becoming covered in mud. Georgiana doesn’t believe Edward at all. The two share a fiery kiss but are caught in the act by the Duke’s aunt and other party guests. They are forced to marry. Edward frequently finds himself in situations like this and assumes Georgiana plotted the marriage, but really this is a marriage of inconvenience for both of them, aside from the burning attraction.

Once Georgiana and Edward marry, there’s less tension. They begin falling in love, though Georgiana finds her husband to be distant. Edward finally feels comfortable enough to express to Georgiana that he is neurodivergent, likely autistic. Of course, folks in the late 1700’s did not have this language, but it’s pretty clear that was the author’s intention. He continues to work to show his wife the affection she needs, while Georgiana takes on a new understanding of her husband and is able to provide support and to understand why he may seem distant to her at times, but does return all of the love she feels for him. There’s a bit of tension at the end regarding Georgiana’s father getting himself into a precarious situation, but the issue is quickly resolved.

I loved reading about a neurodivergent hero who was so well-written and portrayed as attractive with an active sexual history. I think Eva Devon did a great job with this story and I can’t wait to read more for her. This was the first book of hers I’ve read, and I rate it 5 stars.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

The Spinster and the Rake (Never a Wallflower, #1)The Spinster and the Rake by Eva Devon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this one. Super steamy, memorable characters, including a neurodivergent hero.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Explain the relationship dynamic between Georgiana and Edward.
  2. Are Georgiana and Edward better at communication than most romance novel couples? Why or why not?
  3. What may have Edward’s experience growing up been like had he not been born into privilege or had loving parents?

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