- Minerva Dodger quickly became one of my favourite heroines because she knows herself and is beyond strong.
- Ms. Heath creates a female protagonist who is confident in every aspect of her life and relationships – except, in love. This is something that many women of the modern age experience. The biggest lesson Minerva Dodger delivers is to remain true to yourself.
- Her counterpart, the Duke of Ashebury, is everything one looks for in a male protagonist. He is arrogant, gorgeous and powerful. Naturally, he is considerate and thoughtful as well. Watching him fall in love with Minerva is a definite treat since he is so unaware that it is occurring.
- I really enjoyed the minor characters too – very well defined without distracting from the romance. I particularly enjoyed Minerva’s friendship with BFF/sister-in-law Grace Lovingdon and her relationship with her parents was both strong and tender.
- I also liked the way Ms. Heath created her world and gave us just enough back story to understand the context in which Minerva and Ashe moved without huge info-dumps.
- And the ode to Dickens’ Miss Havisham and her clocks? C’mon! That was pretty cool.
- I tend to skim over too much description about the angst. While angst is a necessary component of a character’s development in a romance novel, I quickly get bored of extensive analysis of emotions. I also find that modern readers easily understand a character’s predicament – once it’s been stated, is it necessary to go over it again and again?
- Having said that, there were times when I skimmed or skipped entire passages where too much rambling was occurring. “Does he love me? Why is he spending time with me? Is Minerva really Lady V? etc. etc.” Again, this is my reading quirk and there are many readers out there who love the analysis as the protagonists evolve.
- This novel is a beautiful read.
- I loved reading the evolution of Minerva and Ashe’s relationship.
- I especially loved Minerva’s realization and acceptance of her own beauty on her terms. And, Ashe’s realization that his feelings extended well beyond sexual attraction for Minerva.
- Ms. Heath had me cheering for these two from the very beginning.
- If you’re looking for a well-written book with a strong heroine give this novel a try.
“‘I could suffer through [my father’s] disappointment much more easily than I could suffer through not gaining retribution for being wronged.’ A corner of her mouth hitched up. ‘On the other hand, I might just kill you myself.’ She gave a quick nod. ‘Probably would. I’d find immense satisfaction in it, come to think of it.'” (Minerva to Ashe in Chapter 3).
“‘Dear God, how can you possibly believe there is any part of her that is equal to nothing?‘” (Ashe to Jack Dodger in Chapter 20)
Did you read Book 1 of the Hellions of Havisham? If so, let’s chat about it! Thanks for stopping by.
Summary from Goodreads: After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady’s desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair. A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime’s pleasure?