Evie Harlow runs a quaint little bookshop in London, which is the biggest adventure an unmarried woman with no prospects could hope for. Until Maximillian Shaw, Duke of Westbourne, saunters into her shop with a proposition: to win a bet with his friends, he’ll turn her into the diamond of the season. The duke might be devilishly attractive, but Evie has no intention of accepting his ludicrous offer. When disaster strikes her shop, however, she’s left with little choice but to let herself be whisked into his high-society world.
Always happy to help a lady in distress, Max thinks he’s saving Evie from her dull spinster’s life. He’ll help her find a husband and congratulate himself on a job well done. But as shy Evie becomes the shining star he always knew she could be, she somehow steals his heart. And when her reputation is threatened, can Max convince her to choose a glittering, aristocratic life with him over the cozy comfort of her bookshop?
Titles in the Scandal at the Savoy series include — Bookshop Cinderella —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Bookshop Cinderella
Series: Scandal at the Savoy #1
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: June 20, 2023
My Rating: 4 stars
While I love Historical Romance no matter the timeframe they’re set in, I have to admit to being drawn to the stories of when the attitudes of the time are starting to change, when we see the beginnings of what will become our present. That is exactly how I felt while reading Bookshop Cinderella, which is the first story in the Scandal at the Savoy series. Evie inherited the bookshop from her father, and she’s managed to make it a profitable endeavor, enough so that her family is safe and happy. She’s more interested in women’s rights than in being the belle of any ball — but that’s about to change when a silly bet brought about by young men with more money than sense has quite the impact on her life.
There is a very real “My Fair Lady” feel to Max and Evie’s story. He’s about to win a bet (in his mind) with some foolish young men and whisk a lovely woman into a life that any spinster would appreciate and enjoy. Or would she? Evie is not just any woman who is close to what others think of as a spinster. She’s a business owner, an intelligent woman with an eye to the future, and her role in it as a supporter of women being given more power in their own lives. She doesn’t need Prince Charming to come along and wave a magic wand, she’s quite capable of running her own life. But… the attraction to Max is right there, even as he explains the foolish bet and his plan to sweep her into the madness of life within the ton. She’ll turn him down flat. Until one disaster at the bookshop almost guarantees that she’ll fall in with his plan but for reasons other than his need to win a bet.
I enjoyed my time in this world. And though Evie won my heart quite quickly, Max slowly grew into the man he became through knowing and loving Evie. The transformations (in some ways) for them each were part of the charm of their story. Of course, there are moments when we aren’t sure if they’ll ever get their heads on straight and realize they are perfect for each other. But watching them get to that point was a fun, charming journey.
Bookshop Cinderella is an engaging, well-written, fun, and delightful introduction story to this series. I will definitely be following along. I wish there had been an epilogue, but hopefully, we’ll see more of Evie and Max’s future at some point as the series continues.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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