About the Book:
Title: Tomboy of the Ton
Author: Emily Royal
Series: Misfits of the Ton #1
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2022
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Synopsis: A thorn in his side, or the woman of his dreams?
Henrietta Redford wishes she were a boy—after all, boys are masters of their own fate. Casting her dolls aside, she climbs trees, plays at swordfighting, and indulges in practical jokes.
Once she’s had her come-out, Henrietta has promised her father that she’ll settle down and marry. Any eligible man might do, but it certainly won’t be Giles Thorpe—the older boy from the estate next door, whose arrogant disdain of her tomboyish ways only increased as he grew into a man.
Until they share a passionate kiss…
After inheriting an earldom when his profligate father died, Giles understands the dangers of irresponsibility. The infuriating tomboy next door is the epitome of recklessness and the last woman he should associate with—no matter how fast his heart beats at the sight of her delectable form.
When scandal threatens to ruin the Thorpe family name, Henrietta, unbeknown to Giles, is his best hope for salvation. But Henrietta will have to sacrifice everything—including the man she’s grown to love.
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Tomboy of the Ton is the first book in the Misfits of the Ton historical romance series, and it follows Henrietta, a tomboy who spent much of her childhood playing pranks on her neighbor Giles Thorne. Henrietta infuriates Giles, and he loathes her precocious and impetuous ways. So, when Henrietta takes a prank too far, Giles demands retribution, and her father sends Henrietta to live with her aunt in London for a season in the hopes that she will settle down and find a husband. Giles and Henrietta don’t know what to do because the one person they love to hate is also who they are falling in love with – each other.
This is a tough book for me to review, as there are several things I really liked, but one major thing I disliked. I loved the female friendships and the strong messages about gender inequality and the unfair standards and expectations put upon women. However, I vehemently disliked the male protagonist and his bullying ways.
Henrietta is a wonderful protagonist. She is unique, fun, and adventurous, and she’s a breath of fresh hair compared with many of the other young women of the ton. No matter how much others try to embarrass, shame, and change her, Henrietta stays true to herself. Giles, however, is not a likable character. He is arrogant and insulting, and sometimes he is downright cruel. In my opinion, Giles’s words and actions toward Henrietta cross a line too many times, and I found it hard to forgive him. I don’t think he deserves Henrietta.
The love story between Henrietta and Giles has total enemies to lovers and bully romance vibes. Giles is so hurtful and hateful toward Henrietta, and they have a history of animosity toward each other. Giles is very strict and conforming, whereas Henrietta is carefree and unique. They are opposites in many ways, though they are alike in their stubbornness and strong will. I’m not a huge fan of bully romances, and I hated how insulting Giles was. He hurts her deeply with his words. I get that he’s trying to fight his feelings for Henrietta, but his long-time cold, hurtful, and condescending ways were not my favorite. Henrietta doesn’t often stand for his arrogant insults and condescension, and she, too, says some really off-putting things.
The friendships in the book are fantastic, and I’m eager to learn more about Henrietta’s friends. Like Henrietta, they are considered misfits, as they don’t fit in with the other young women of the ton. These women are unique and intriguing, and I love how they accept and support each other. They contrast the mean, snotty peers well. Beatrice, Giles’s younger cousin, is a stand-out secondary character, as is Giles’s mother. They both stand up to Giles in their own way. Beatrice craves independence and freedom. She, like Henrietta, doesn’t want to conform to the dictates of society, as it’s squelching their interests, ethics, and individuality. I’m hoping she’ll be the focus of a future book in the series.
Overall, this is a good historical romance, it just wasn’t the right fit for me. Thanks so much to Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The female friendships.
- The messages.
“We need the pain in order to remember the joy,”
“We all risk our health simply by getting out of bed each morning. The world is filled with danger. But, as your dear papa and I taught you as a child, the way to grow strong is to face that danger head-on. If you hide away, then it has conquered you.”
I would recommend Tomboy if the Ton to romance readers who enjoy:
- Enemies to lovers
- Bully romance
- Opposites attract
- Great female friendships