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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.9 out of 5
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  • He's wasting time, she's hyper focused

    He's busy being foolish and wasting time, she's busy binding books and being brittle. I was excited to read this book. but felt like there was too many busy tangents. Alistair has time to spare and hires a full time marching band to be on call to annoy match making mama's.. Cordelia is focused on details and book binding. She's a bit on the brittle side. I didn't feel the connection between Cordelia and Alistair and really was hoping their differing personalities would mesh better. Just my take.

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  • An odd couple who are perfect together

    I loved this book so much, which is the second book in the Sweetness and Light series by Erin Satie. After finishing the second book, I immediately read the first book, which is about Cordelia's friend Bonnie and her marriage. While I don't think it is necessary to read the first book to enjoy the second, reading it did help me to understand the second book better. Cordelia Kelly is a rather severe young woman of strong principles who has left her home after a disagreement with her parents about her best friend Bonnie. Her parents have shunned Bonnie due to the circumstances of her marriage. Cordelia is making her own way in London, a risky action for a young woman with no wealth of her own or family support. She has a gift for creating beautifully custom-bound books, some with her own artwork, or decorated with gold leaf, or with marbelized facing pages. Cordelia is also a supporter of women's rights, at a time when women lost all power over their persons, their children, and their finances once they married. Fortunately, Cordelia has a few female friends in London. Olympia was orphaned young and is in the unusual position of being in possession of her fortune. Tess is a young woman of color, an African princess who is the ward of Queen Elizabeth. All of them are of like mind for improving the legal standing of women. Soon after moving to London, Cordelia meets the Duke of Stroud, a young, massive man who is known for his practical jokes which are pretty hilarious, but who also has a heart for people in difficulties. The book opens when Stroud is hiring a down on their luck marching band to follow two particular ladies (a mother and daughter) whenever they set out to visit his friend, who they are trying to snare for the daughter. There could not be two more different people than Stroud or Cordelia, but they work so well as a couple, as each sees something that other people miss in the other. This is a gorgeous love story with some serious topics. It was told so well and the settings were so vivid, that I felt as if I'd stepped into that century - a hallmark of the best books. I highly recommend this one and the series. I'm still wondering about the series name, as these books shine a spotlight on the restrictions put on women, the legal ramifications of marriage for them, and the lifelong consequences of stepping outside the boundary of what was considered proper behavior for unmarried women at that time. There wasn't much sweetness to be found in their legal bondage, although the mutual support that these friends provided for each other was precious and priceless. This book made me recognize how much we owe to the women and men who worked and fought for the rights we take for granted today. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Little Phrase for allowing me to read an advance reader copy of this book. I am voluntarily leaving this review.

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  • Sweet story

    This story was so sweet and fun! I loved the juxtaposition of the two main characters, how well they respect each other while also challenging each other. I laughed out loud several times! I love reading historical fiction centered around women's rights and this one did not disappoint!

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  • Book about the lack of love

    Love, love, love. What can I say about the "Book of Love"? The blurb and beautiful cover (because let's be honest folks, we do judge books by their covers) draw you in to what is seemingly a story about two people from two different backgrounds with different points of view on life and her through it all they find themselves drawn together. . . At least that is what it lead me to believe?!? What I felt like the author really wrote about is a very spirited, opinionated woman who has a very icy shell and has deafened her emotions. She is like any good englishwoman of the time. She may say love is important but she is too practical to let it interfer in relationships. The only passion I really felt for Cordelia (Coco) is when is is talking about books or equal woman's rights. Her level-headeded stoicism often made me wonder if her feelings were real or feigned. On the other hand there is Alistair (Rip), who is so light-hearted and carefree that it's unreal what he sees in her. She says hateful things to him and never said sorry, but he loves her. I kept feeling like the cold demeanor of Coco would that once they were together but it just seemed that she was smug about her position saying stuff about "what happens if I want your sister to leave" or I want my own place. She was penniless going in why is she so high-handed now always pushing people to see what would break them? She says that what belong to the woman should stay with the woman, but why isn't the opposite also true? She acts like everything is all hers. She really started to annoy at the end. She wasn't loving our grateful, just entitle at the end. I don't know. This is just me opinion but the overall book was more about the cold love than a passionate love. It was a letdown for me, sadly. ** Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review this book **

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  • Fresh historical romance

    What I Loved: The Bookbinding. What led me to requesting Book of Love is also what kept my interest: Cordelia makes books for a living, back when books were made to order and illustrations done by hand. While Cordelia has to bind books to make a living, it is also a passion for her, and she makes what could very well be the first scrapbook. I loved all of the details of her process and her business, and love watching how she then uses her bookbinding skills to fight for women’s rights. The Duke of Stroud. Cordelia I can take or leave (see below), but I simple loved Stroud. He was this big sweet goofball who wanted to bring joy in his friends’ hearts and who was constantly put down as a child. I loved how Stroud found happiness in someone who recognized his worth despite the years of emotional abuse, and his pranks make me wish I had a Stroud in my life. The Politicking. I feel like historical romances are often fluff, which I truly do love. However, Book of Love provided an exciting surprise with Cordelia joining the women’s rights movement in mid-19th century London. The way Satie incorporates women’s right to their own property after marriage, and watching Cordelia and Stroud get the 1800s version of a pre-nup made Book of Love more fun than a normal historical romance. What Didn’t Work For Me: While I love so many things about Cordelia’s life (I love her work, her dedication to the women’s rights movement, her origin story, and her friends), I can’t help but be exasperated by her. She is not just outspoken but rude and is a bit of a know it all (takes one to know one… I have been accused of that as well). Cordelia accepts Stroud’s proposal as though it were a pragmatic decision instead of one borne from love, even in the company of her closest friends. I wish she’d been honest with herself in the very beginning. The Pacing. In a bit of a reversal from my normal complaint, I thought that Book of Love is perfectly paced in the beginning and then rushes into the last quarter like a bat out of hell. I am a bit of a cliché reader and love when the marriage ends the book, but didn’t hate that Stroud and Cordelia got married early – I just wish it didn’t change the entire pace of the book. Too much character development occurred from that one moment on. The Sex. This seems like an unpopular opinion compared to other reviews, but I didn’t like the way Satie wrote the intimate scenes between Stroud and Cordelia. They were awkward and uncomfortable – it reminded me of a YA when two teenagers are first exploring each other. While there is a time and a place for that kind of scene, a historical romance is not one of them for me. This is my first Satie, so that may be the problem.

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