Book Review & Giveaway: The Brazen Bluestocking by Tracy Sumner

Title: The Brazen Bluestocking

Author: Tracy Sumner

Series: The Duchess Society #1

Page Length: 248

Publication Date: Sept. 16, 2021

Publisher: WOLF Publishing

Synopsis: A defiant society outcast.
A forbidding rogue who doesn’t believe in love.
And a passionate wager.

Daughter of an earl, Lady Hildegard Templeton hasn’t conformed to what society expects from a woman of her station. Industrious and unique, she’s created an emboldened organization for women on the cusp of marriage, The Duchess Society. Called a bluestocking to her face and worse behind closed salon doors, she vows to marry for love. And nothing but. Although the emotion has never shown itself to her. Until she meets him.

Bastard son of a viscount and king of London’s sordid streets, Tobias Streeter has spent a lifetime building his empire, and he needs the Duchess Society to find a suitable wife. An asset to expand his worth in society’s eyes. But he vows his search will have nothing to do with love and everything to do with vengeance. Until he meets her.

Soon, Tobias and Hildy’s plans are in turmoil as they choose between expectation, passion, and love.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon


My Review:

The Brazen Bluestocking is the fabulous first book in Tracy Sumner’s historical romance series The Duchess Society, and it follows Lady Hildegard “Hildy” Templeton and Tobias Streeter as they work together to arrange his marriage to someone else. Known across the ton as The Mad Matchmaker, Hildy spends her days tirelessly working to foster fair contracts for women looking to marry. With a crumbling house in desperate need of repair and an aged staff who is more like family, Hildy has a lot on her plate. Hildy is such a great character! She’s so ambitious and passionate about her beliefs, and her wit is fantastic. Smart, determined, and brave, this daughter of an Earl defies societal norms and takes her life into her own hands, which is how she meets Tobias.

The bastard son of a viscount and often referred to as “The Rogue King,” Tobias spent his life building his name and career and is now an impressively successful businessman. However, he needs a wife, preferably one of the ton, to help expand his empire. His is not a love match but more of a business agreement, and he has found the perfect woman for the role. However, when he meets Hildy, a woman who will only marry for love, and begins working on his marriage contract, Tobias starts to question his future. Does he want to enter into a marriage of convenience with another woman when his feelings for Hildy are so strong? With so much on the line, including Tobias’s dreams and Hildy’s job, will these two take a chance on love?

You are, and I genuinely never say this, someone I want to know better.

Hildy and Tobias are such wonderful characters, and I couldn’t get enough of their love story. They’re both so well-developed and interesting, and I love how each defies and challenges societal constraints. Most people want Hildy for her beauty or her title or what she can offer them. However, Tobias sees the intelligent, curious, and acerbically witty woman underneath.  Hildy, in turn, looks past the roguish, confident, and enigmatic businessman and sees the sensitive, caring, creative, and generous man beneath. He is so much more than his tough exterior.  Like Hildy, Tobias is a layered and fascinating character, and I became so invested in their stories, both as individuals and as a couple.  I love that they slowly open themselves up to each other and show parts of themselves that they don’t usually reveal.  It definitely says something about their connection. 

Of course, Tobias and Hildy’s relationship is not without obstacles.  Inner conflicts, miscommunication, secrecy and lies, societal expectations and rules, as well as some dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations, stand in their way, and it’s interesting to see how they deal with all of these challenges. Nevertheless, Hildy and Tobias have a brilliant romance filled with angst, passion, tenderness, feistiness, and a soul-deep connection.  They are from very different worlds, and their future seems unfathomable.  However, from their first meeting, there is something special between them, and their chemistry is palpable!  I like how this strong fearsome man with a tough reputation is completely undone by her, and that she shows him a future he never expected or dared dream about.  

Tracy Sumner sure knows how to write a first kiss.  Wow!  Both books in this series have THE BEST FIRST KISSES! Passionate and emotional and sexy, the first kiss between Hildy and Tobias is epic!  Remember at the end of The Princess Bride when they talk about the most profound kisses?  The grandfather says,  “Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure.” Well, the first kisses in this book and The Scandalous Vixen would both make that list!   There’s so much yearning and hunger, and there’s a tenderness mixed in too.  At one point, Tobias describes it as a “kiss of the soul,” and I clearly remember feeling a little faint and needing a fan when I read those lines. His feelings are so romantic!! Lol

Their kiss had dismantled him in a way he’d never been taken apart before. A kiss of promise. A kiss of affection, obsession, exploration. A kiss of the soul.

Other characters in the story are equally interesting, including young Nigel, who Tobias took under his wing, and Tobias’s best friend.  Hildy’s partner is also funny and pretty sharp, and there’s a super cute cat that has a special connection to Tobias. The author created such endearing characters that I’m so eager to learn more about, and I’m excited to see if they have prominent roles in future books in the series.  

I always say I’m a sucker for a swoon-worthy romance, and this book epitomizes why I love them so much. It’s the kind of story that makes you feel all the feels, and it has great messages about love, life, gender inequalities, prejudice, social inequities, and more. It also has a unique found family aspect that is sweet and special. I can’t wait to read more of The Duchess Society series, and I would most ardently recommend The Brazen Bluestocking to readers who enjoy sexy historical romance with brilliant characters and interesting storylines.  Special thanks to Tracy Sumner for providing me with a copy of the book.  All thoughts are my own.

Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The characters.
  • That kiss!

Favorite Lines:

When people fear you, that fear offers its own protection.

Saints love you, Hildy girl. You do make me smile.

I know what it’s like to be found lacking for elements beyond your control. Where you were born, the color of your skin. Being delivered on the wrong side of some addled viscount’s blanket. Think nothing of intelligence or courage, wit or ingenuity, talent, on the blue blood, or lack of it, running beneath that no one sees unless you slice them open.

Recommendations:

Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review for The Scandalous Vixen!

Giveaway:

Enter to win the first two books in The Duchess Society series!! One US winner will received a signed copy of The Brazen Bluestocking and The Scandalous Vixen, and one International winner will receive the eBooks! Giveaway ends 1/13/2022

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