Title: Brazen and the Beast
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #2
Author: Sarah MacLean
Format: ebook, 400 pages
Published: July 30th 2019 by Avon
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The Lady’s Plan
When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly... until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal
When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure... on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires... for a price.
An Unexpected Passion
Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power... and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything... including their hearts.
The Bareknuckle Bastards are an absolute delight!
Lady Henrietta "Hattie" Sedley is done waiting for the men in her life to decide her future. She is taking her twenty-ninth year by the horns and declaring it, "The Year of Hattie". Where she will decide her fate. Her plan is simple; first she will ruin herself so that her father has no hope of marrying her off. Then she can inherit his shipping business that she has already worked so hard for. She will then make her fortune and happily live her own life. But first, the ruination....
Enter Saviour "Whit" Whittington. Known throughout Covent Garden as Beast, ruling London's underbelly alongside his brother and sister. Waking tied-up in an unfamiliar carriage is not surprising for Whit, but the woman he wakes up to is. She's looking for a night of carnal delight and when Whit finds her on his own turf, he isn't adverse to seeing to her needs himself. But pleasure is the only thing that he can offer, and when their business deal gets a little too personal, Whit knows that he must put space some between them. Even if that means doing things that will hurt her. If his enemies find out about Hattie though, it will be more then just her feelings that get hurt....
In Wicked and the Wallflower, we were introduced to the Bareknuckle Bastards. A group of siblings, who though not related in the strictest sense, share the same father - the Duke of Marwick. Together; Beast, Devil, and Dahlia run an impressive smuggling business out of Covent Garden that not only provides employment for a lot of the community, but also a sense of family. However, their brother, Ewan, doesn't want to see them prosper and is willing to endanger the Bastards' men in order to destroy their business and in turn, the brothers themselves. I'm intrigue by the continuing series-arc of these siblings relationships and the dynamics between Grace (Dahlia) and Ewan. I also find each of their backgrounds interesting, and while their characters may seem dark and seedy, they're really good, caring people.
In Brazen and the Beast readers are reintroduced to the quiet and brooding Whit, a.k.a. Beast. A man who fiercely defends those he calls his own and who makes no apologies for the life he leads. When Whit meets Hattie, sparks instantly fly between them. I loved their banter. Hattie is a smart, brave character with a good sense of humor. She has a low self esteem though, which was lamented on often throughout the story-line. And while the story started out strong, the repetitiveness and self-doubt began to drag down the plot by the half-way point. That being said I enjoyed each of these characters. Hattie was a woman to admire, she refused to be pegged for the lowly-woman stereotype. Whit, while frustratingly hot and cold, was still a pretty dreamy hero with his determination to keep Hattie safe despite his own unhappiness with the situation. I also adored the colorful and diverse cast of characters that surrounded our couple. From the mysterious Dahlia, to the Covent Garden inhabitants, Hattie's own family and employees, and especially her friend Nora, who was full of life.
All in all, Brazen and the Beast was a fun tale about a strong, independent woman who is not afraid to take what she wants out of life, finding a future that she never thought to hope for. The tale was full of passion, intrigue, action, and humor. I'm on pins and needles waiting for the next book in the series, Grace's (and Ewan's ??) story. By the end of this book, I had more questions then ever!
Suggested Reading Order:
Book #1 Wicked and the Wallflower
Book #3 Daring and the Duke - coming June 30th, 2020