About the Book
Book #1 in The Fifth Avenue Rebels series.
Genre: Historical Romance
Perspective: 3rd person, dual-POV
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Format: Ebook – Netgalley ARC
Length: 400 pages
High society reprobate.
An unconventional heiress.
Is it too late…
Knickerbocker scoundrel Harrison Archer returns to New York to discover that his deceased father has bankrupted his estranged family. To save them from ruin, he’s forced to quickly find and marry an heiress. For a matchmaker, Harrison turns to the one woman he wishes he could marry: his childhood friend and true love, Maddie, who once broke his heart and is now engaged to a duke.
For true love?
When her best friend Harrison left for Paris without a word, Maddie Webster took refuge in her infatuation with tennis. Now Harrison is back and needs her help in finding a bride. Begrudgingly, Maddie arranges a house party in Newport with a guest list of eligible heiresses. But watching Harrison flirt with potential brides is more than she can bear.
When Harrison and Maddie reunite, the passion between them ignites. But with their marriages to others looming, time is running out. Is their fate inescapable . . .or can love set them free?
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. Since 2015, her books have appeared on numerous yearly “best of” lists, including Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Kobo, and BookPage.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.
Rating: 3/5 stars
I fell in love with Joanna Shupe’s writing after reading her Uptown Girls series, and once I saw the steamy cover for The Heiress Hunt I was SO excited for the start of this new series. While Shupe’s writing was a pleasure, as always, I didn’t connect with the characters or the story as much as I hoped.
Our hero, Harrison Archer, was too persistent and never listened to the thoughts and concerns of our heroine, Maddie Webster; rather, he steamrolled over her and everyone else to get what he wanted. Maddie, on the other hand, had her likable moments, but I had a difficult time sympathizing with her when her internal conflict came down to deciding whether she wanted to marry a super wealthy, nice English duke or her super rich childhood best friend.
Harrison and Maddie’s chemistry in the first half of the book was amazing—Joanna Shupe’s sexy scenes never disappoint—but when the stakes and conflict changed in the second half, some of that spark was lost. While these changes made for a unique, unexpected turn at the halfway point, they became melodramatic and, eventually, predictable. I wish I could’ve learned more about the history around Maddie as a professional tennis player in the Gilded Age, and I found myself becoming more interested in the side characters instead. Along with Kit and Alice’s forthcoming book, I predict Katherine and Preston will have a book of their own, and I’m hoping for a story for Forrest and Nellie because Nellie definitely deserves her own book, too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
I would recommend this book if you’re looking for an easy historical romance that, hopefully, will be the first building block in another great series from Joanna Shupe. Based on its wonderful side characters, I have a feeling this will be the case for the remaining Fifth Avenue Rebels books. If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know your thoughts!
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➜ Book #2 in The Fifth Avenue Rebels series, The Lady Gets Lucky, has an estimated release date of October 26, 2021
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Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.