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Sophie Barnes
Mr. Dale and The Divorcée
He's a respectable barrister... She's the most scandalous woman in England... Wilhelmina Hewitt knows she's in for a rough ride when she agrees to help her husband get at divorce. Nothing, however, prepares her for the regret of meeting Mr. Dale on the eve of her downfall. No other man has ever sent her heart racing as he does. Unfortunately, while she’ll soon be free to engage in a new relationship, no respectable man will have her. James Dale would never pursue another man’s wife. Or a woman reputed to be a deceitful adulteress. Furious with himself for letting the lovely Mrs. Hewitt charm him, he strives to keep his distance. But when her daughter elopes with his son, they're forced into a partnership where passion ignites. And James soon wonders if there might be more to the divorcée than meets the eye.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10


Plot: Taking place during the Regency period, 1818 London, the author tackles a topic that is considered taboo for the time period: divorce. When a husband seeks a divorce, his wife is willing to sacrifice her reputation in order for it to happen--even though he is the one that is involved with another woman. The plot is finely developed and the circumstances unfold organically.

Prose: Although the prose does not always reflect the time period, the writing is smooth and engaging.

Originality: The focus on divorce and its historical impact on women--paired with the romantic storyline--leads to a fresh and alluring story. 

Character/Execution: The author creates well-rounded and appealing characters whose internal desires and conflicts convincingly drive their actions.

Date Submitted: April 10, 2022