Brazen and the Beast: The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II

Written by Sarah MacLean
Review by Fiona Alison

Twenty-nine-year-old Hattie Sedley is planning her Year of Hattie, in which she inherits her father’s business, lives life on her own terms, and plans her own future. Oh, and should I mention, loses her virginity. When she meets Whit, nicknamed the Beast, the mutual attraction is palpable, and Hattie sets her sites on him for her first ‘mission’ – to ruin herself for marriage. Whit is equally intrigued and frustrated by this unusual woman. One might expect this novel to be overflowing with steamy erotic scenes, but in fact it is brimming with sexual tension and anticipation, witty repartee, stubbornness and misunderstandings – and it’s not until the end that the promised union takes place.

MacLean is not called the intoxicating queen of historical romance for nothing! She’s a master of intelligent dialogue, which adds to the tension, as several moments for a possible tryst pass the couple by. What a nice change to have a romance heroine who is not a typical winsome beauty, but knows her own mind, knows how to negotiate and knows how to reel in the most eligible bachelor on the block. A fun, sexy read!