Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2)
The Lady’s PlanWhen 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 ProposalWhen 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 PassionSoon, 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.

Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2) Details

TitleBrazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherAvon
ISBN-139780062691989
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical Romance, Historical, Historical Fiction

Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2) Review

  • Sarah MacLean
    January 1, 1970
    I know we're not supposed to play favorites. I know I'm supposed to love all my books equally. But I really really love this one, you guys. It's so close to my heart. An incomplete list of the reasons why: * Hattie: A smart, savvy, curvy girl with a talent for knots, who refuses to give up on her dreams simply because the whole world tells her she can't have them. She's got a five point plan to claim herself, her business, and her future.* A grunty Beast of a hero, who is both a bareknuckle brui I know we're not supposed to play favorites. I know I'm supposed to love all my books equally. But I really really love this one, you guys. It's so close to my heart. An incomplete list of the reasons why: * Hattie: A smart, savvy, curvy girl with a talent for knots, who refuses to give up on her dreams simply because the whole world tells her she can't have them. She's got a five point plan to claim herself, her business, and her future.* A grunty Beast of a hero, who is both a bareknuckle bruiser and a throwing-knife wielding bookworm, and who can't seem to make himself get out of her way. In fact, he very much wants to stay in her way. * Hattie's best friend, Nora, who drives carriages recklessly...and is ride-or-die for her bestie.* Devil & Felicity, living their happily ever after. * Sesily Talbot, still hanging around The Singing Sparrow, driving her American wild. Truthfully, Hattie & Whit love bantering almost as much as they love kissing...which they love almost as much as they end up loving each other. And I hope as much as you'll love them, too! Brazen & the Beast is coming July 30th to bookstores everywhere...I hope you'll add the book to your TBR shelf here at Goodreads, and preorder now at: Amazon: https://amzn.to/2D4RLx3 Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2GbmPNFKobo: http://bit.ly/2YYRFAl Apple Books: https://apple.co/2WYNnqHIndiebound: http://bit.ly/2CZsuV1
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  • Anovelqueen
    January 1, 1970
    ****4.5 STARS****What do you get when you cross a tall, dark, handsome and wealthy king of the underworld with a no nonsense and spirited heroine....one hell of a novel!!! This has to be my favorite book this year. It had everything including the alpha anti-hero. Saviour Whittington is the bastard son of a duke and has had to drag himself from the savage streets of London. But he is a survivor and becomes known as the Beast because of his fighting ability and protectiveness over those he cares a ****4.5 STARS****What do you get when you cross a tall, dark, handsome and wealthy king of the underworld with a no nonsense and spirited heroine....one hell of a novel!!! This has to be my favorite book this year. It had everything including the alpha anti-hero. Saviour Whittington is the bastard son of a duke and has had to drag himself from the savage streets of London. But he is a survivor and becomes known as the Beast because of his fighting ability and protectiveness over those he cares about. The man wears a bandolier of knives....I don’t know what else to say about him except he is right up there with my favorite Lisa Kleypas’ hero boyfriends. Hattie is a force to be reckoned with as she sets out to become an independent woman. After all she is 29, unmarried and practically running her father’s shipping business. But of course she lives in a time when women are generally ignored and treated like second class. She’s has the ability, why can’t she have it all?Craftily written...I read it in one sitting....I couldn’t put it down. I hated for the story to end. I loved the interaction between Whit and Hattie. Whit is a man of few words and what alpha man doesn’t grunt? Lol (Example, any Kristen Ashley Book). It should definitely be one to read. You will not be disappointed.
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  • Georgie
    January 1, 1970
    How many times can this book say the word ‘plan’ in it’s description? Seven. Seven times.
  • JenReadsRomance
    January 1, 1970
    Obviously, I host Fated Mates with Sarah, so I'm hardly an impartial reader. BUT. BUT. BUT. This book is fucking great. I loved everything about it, especially Hattie. Her determination to prove herself worthy of inheriting her father's company even though she's a woman is such a great plot arc. And even though Whit respects her dream, I loved that she does not wait around for him to give her permission to do what she thought was right. Whit is a delightful hero. I am ALL ABOUT a romance hero wh Obviously, I host Fated Mates with Sarah, so I'm hardly an impartial reader. BUT. BUT. BUT. This book is fucking great. I loved everything about it, especially Hattie. Her determination to prove herself worthy of inheriting her father's company even though she's a woman is such a great plot arc. And even though Whit respects her dream, I loved that she does not wait around for him to give her permission to do what she thought was right. Whit is a delightful hero. I am ALL ABOUT a romance hero who grunts more than he talks, unless they're in bed. This should be some sort of romance coefficient: all of a sudden they're prolific dirty talkers in bed and I am HERE FOR IT. I loved Wicked & the Wallflower, but I like this one better. It gets off to strong start and never really lets up. Super hot, super feminist, super awesome.
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  • b.andherbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Sheer and utter perfection. I am here for #yearofhattie, Carrick bend knots used for sexy reasons (OMG JUST WAIT), and Beast, oh Beast.MacLean has done it again and I cannot wait for everyone to read this book. Full review to come closer to the publication date.Thank you to the publisher for the advanced reading copy!A lady determined to raise the sails on her own future inadvertently brings an underworld king to his knees when she discovers him trussed up in her carriage on her birthday. Hattie Sheer and utter perfection. I am here for #yearofhattie, Carrick bend knots used for sexy reasons (OMG JUST WAIT), and Beast, oh Beast.MacLean has done it again and I cannot wait for everyone to read this book. Full review to come closer to the publication date.Thank you to the publisher for the advanced reading copy!A lady determined to raise the sails on her own future inadvertently brings an underworld king to his knees when she discovers him trussed up in her carriage on her birthday. Hattie wasn't looking for this man for her birthday, but he turns out to be her utterly perfect Beast. Watching this savvy business woman fight for her future and for the man she loves is an absolute delight, and a must read, especially for fans of other historical romance authors who bring together the ballroom and the smuggler's den, like Sophie Jordan or Julie Ann Long. If you haven't yet read Sarah MacLean, what are you waiting for?
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    Wicked and the Wallflower was one of my top books of 2018, and I was basically screaming when I got approved for Brazen.I love love loved Hattie and Beast. They’re both so smart and so opinionated and the bickering was the best. I adored their arguing and reading how their relationship unfurled in the most deliciously slow way and of course the chemistry was insane. I loved Nora and was beside myself at seeing Devil and Felicity again.Plot wise it was perfect. From Hattie taking charge of her ye Wicked and the Wallflower was one of my top books of 2018, and I was basically screaming when I got approved for Brazen.I love love loved Hattie and Beast. They’re both so smart and so opinionated and the bickering was the best. I adored their arguing and reading how their relationship unfurled in the most deliciously slow way and of course the chemistry was insane. I loved Nora and was beside myself at seeing Devil and Felicity again.Plot wise it was perfect. From Hattie taking charge of her year to everything with Ewan to the best ending and epilogue: I loved all of it. I was captivated at the first scene and didn’t want to stop reading.Overall, this was another book from Sarah I know I’ll be reading again. I can’t wait for Grace’s story and I’ll be over here hoping for Nora’s.**Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Megan Frampton
    January 1, 1970
    This might now be my favorite of Sarah MacLean's books, and that's saying a lot, since I absolutely adore her books. It's so well-written, so complete, such an altogether consuming story that it is absolutely and entirely satisfying. Swoon.
  • Lubnaa (Romance Library)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.What a colossal waste of time. I fear Brazen and the Beast marks the conclusion of my relationship with Sarah MacLean. It will take a LOT for me to ever read a new Sarah MacLean release. The standard for historical romance has fallen so much that it's now deeply rooted in the earth, with no hope of it ever showing its face again. I cannot for the life of me understand how or why this series is so well-loved. I can't. It defies log I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.What a colossal waste of time. I fear Brazen and the Beast marks the conclusion of my relationship with Sarah MacLean. It will take a LOT for me to ever read a new Sarah MacLean release. The standard for historical romance has fallen so much that it's now deeply rooted in the earth, with no hope of it ever showing its face again. I cannot for the life of me understand how or why this series is so well-loved. I can't. It defies logic, just like the entire fucking plot of Brazen and the Beast. If you've read Wicked and the Wallflower, then you've already read half of Brazen and the Beast. There's no logic to the storyline — the whole revenge and betrayal plot is copied exactly from the first book. In fact, Devil himself muses over how he and Whit found themselves in the exact same situation. Speaking of things that defy logic, Whit's solution for protecting Hattie and his arguments for the terrible first sex scene make NO SENSE. Like its predecessor, 15% of this book consists of Whit growling, grunting, saying "Christ," and moping around like a loser. I suppose it's a family trait to communicate via growls, grunts, and bad poetry. I did a word count and Whit says "Christ" 38 fucking times. I'm sure Christ himself is annoyed at this point.Whit is supposedly a terrifying man who goes by the nickname 'Beast.' Yet, this man spouts bad poetry to the heroine every single time he sees her. His main method of communication is growling and grunting and guess what? The heroine understands his growls and grunts after one week of knowing him.Hattie is a clever businesswoman — a fact that is emphasized on every other page. I fucking get it. She's actually okay. She's more badass than Whit. But she turns into a silly girl when it comes to Whit. She easily forgets about her rivalry when he kisses her. She constantly goes back to her "body" plan when Whit is around, because seeeeex, amiright? *wink wink* *nudge nudge* She also reminds us about her "body" plan in every chapter, just in case we forgot about it! Hattie is another 21st century woman trapped in a historical romance heroine, just like the plethora of aristocratic businesswomen that are now prevalent in this genre. But Sarah MacLean wins some points here because Hattie's background fits perfectly with her aspirations — she wasn't born an aristocrat and actually grew up with her father's business, so it makes sense, unlike other historicals (looking specifically at Kelly Bowen's latest series). However...what's the point of Hattie being a businesswoman based on her own merits if Whit ends up buying everything for her?All of this comes down to one point: Sarah MacLean cannot write dark romance. It comes across as silly, ridiculous, and cheesy. She's trying too hard to be Kerrigan Byrne. Her fragmented and choppy sentence structure is so damn overused. Some parts of this book are good, but most parts are just ridiculous, cheesy, and boring. Want to guess one good part? The ballroom scene. Because that's what MacLean is good at.The ending is also rushed and so damn ridiculous. A random character appeared, with no explanation whatsoever. This whole Grace and Ewan thing leaves a terrible taste in my mouth. I usually love anti heroes, but Ewan's obsession is so toxic and problematic. He's willing to hurt innocent people, even attempt to murder his brothers. Thank u, next.Anyway. I'm done ranting. I'm done with Sarah MacLean.P.S. For those who are looking for newly published historical romances that are actually good, try indie authors or authors who work with small publishers. Or, perhaps, give some debut authors a try.
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  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    First Date:  Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year the “Year of Hattie,” and she has plans! But first, to get rid of her V-card. She has the night booked at a discreet club exclusively for women but things get complicated when she finds a man tied up in her carriage. A very handsome man. Fearing her brother may have a hand in it, she heads towards her destination. When the man in question awakens. He believes the young woman to be in on the attack but before he can gather his wit First Date:  Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year the “Year of Hattie,” and she has plans! But first, to get rid of her V-card. She has the night booked at a discreet club exclusively for women but things get complicated when she finds a man tied up in her carriage. A very handsome man. Fearing her brother may have a hand in it, she heads towards her destination. When the man in question awakens. He believes the young woman to be in on the attack but before he can gather his wits, the girl has kissed him and tossed him out the door! Oh, I am all in! Second Date: The trussed up man, is none other than Whit, known in Covent Garden as the Beast. As Hattie waits to fulfil the first task in her five-step plan… the Beast hunts her down. Guys, I absolutely loved the back-and-forth banter and wicked chemistry between Whit, and Hattie. She is so confident with the things she wants, but sorely lacking with how desirable she is as a woman. Whit may seem all brawn, but beneath that exterior he is a fierce protector and bookworm. Be still my heart. ❤️ ♥️ 💜 He wants revenge, she wants to fulfill her plans, and they strike a bargain. Third Date: The chemistry and slow build is driving me insane, but the ride is delicious. I am making no sense... but you’ll see. It was maddening! I loved seeing familiar characters, new characters and getting to know both Hattie and Whit intimately. Of course, there is interference by you know who. Gads, I do not understand how Sarah plans to make me like him. I really do not. Best not think about that now. When Hattie and the Beast come together my Kindle went up in a blaze. Passion and tender words..you could feel the love..but our couple has much to learn. The growth was a mix of laughter, shenanigans and fear. It was all well done, and I didn’t come up for air until I reached the end. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
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  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy!!SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS SERIES!! As a Sarah Maclean fan, it’s no surprise how much I absolutely completely ADORE this book. I’ve fallen in love with Covet Garden and this world that Sarah has created and this book you guys! ITS SO WONDERFUL! The plot of fast paced and the writing is so addictive. Plus it’s so REFRESHING to read this kind of hero and heroine who are so STRONG and bring out the absolute best in each other by fallin Huge thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy!!SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS SERIES!! As a Sarah Maclean fan, it’s no surprise how much I absolutely completely ADORE this book. I’ve fallen in love with Covet Garden and this world that Sarah has created and this book you guys! ITS SO WONDERFUL! The plot of fast paced and the writing is so addictive. Plus it’s so REFRESHING to read this kind of hero and heroine who are so STRONG and bring out the absolute best in each other by falling in love. Hattie is without a doubt a new favorite heroine of mine and I’m still swooning over Whitt. Hattie decides to take control of her life and begins the Year of Hattie with a bang when she finds a man tied up in her carriage and then eventually they propose a deal. She’s determined to rid herself of her virginity and take control of her father’s business no matter what it takes. The two fall into a fun chase of cat and mouse as they become “rivals” and fall head over heels in love. I love how strong Hattie is and how insecure she was with herself. I related to her so strongly that some of the things she said even made me get emotional because I totally understood exactly where she was coming from. I love how she learned how to accept herself and love herself. She knew exactly what she deserved and what not to settle for and it was so admiring. I think every girl who reads this book is going to see a bit of themselves in Hattie and then strive to be like her. Whitt, how I completed adore this man. Oh my god, he is wonderful. But of course he does have his flaws but the things that he would say to Hattie just had me swooning and fanning myself. He has such a beautiful way with words and I loved how he showed Hattie how much she was appreciated and loved. We know his past from the first novel but you could definitely pick this one up if you haven’t read the first one, although I highly recommend reading the first book in the series before coming into this one as they’re both fantastic and you get more time with the Bareknuckle Bastards because let me tell you, this is a world you won’t want to leave. And this book is HOT!!! SO SO STEAMY!!! SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION! And the sex scenes, WOW! So so good!! Sarah’s writing just continues to blow me away with each novel I pick up from her and I can’t even begin to tell you all how much I’m dying for the next book in this series! I’m so ready for Ewan and Grace!! IM SO EXCITED!! But I’m also super excited for everyone to get their hands on this book when it comes out July 30th!!
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    I read this all in one go & ignored life in order to finish it...so, obv I liked it very much. I think MacLean fans will enjoy it too. However, when I post my full length review, I can't ignore some problems w/the authors characterization of our leading lady Hattie (who I liked anyway!).Hattie is...a feminist before her time? I guess. I have to take her word for it because we're told she's a hard headed businesswoman/"L"ady with plans to run her family shipping concern (god forbid!)...only, I read this all in one go & ignored life in order to finish it...so, obv I liked it very much. I think MacLean fans will enjoy it too. However, when I post my full length review, I can't ignore some problems w/the authors characterization of our leading lady Hattie (who I liked anyway!).Hattie is...a feminist before her time? I guess. I have to take her word for it because we're told she's a hard headed businesswoman/"L"ady with plans to run her family shipping concern (god forbid!)...only, she never appears to do any actual work. Like, ever. Although she's covered in ink. From working. In the alternate dimension that does not take place during this story. Le sigh. AUTHORS. You want us to root for your atypical ambitious heroine who wants to run the family shipping concern? THEN YOU HAVE TO GIVE HER SOME ACTUAL ON PAGE BUSINESS TO DO and make me believe the story is plausible or possible. You pick. She talks the talk...but she doesn't ever do the work.Meanwhile, with all that not doing any actual work at any point in the story whatsoever, there's plenty of time for shenanigans in Covent Garden - with no father or older brother worrying or seeming to care how she spends her time WHEN SHE NEVER SHOWS UP TO WORK.Aside from those pesky MAJOR problems with a major character, I enjoyed all the other parts of this story & how it tied into the overarching series...and the romance is lovely and sexy and lots of good stuff. WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANY ACTUAL WORK TO PROVE HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT RUNNING A BUSINESS (maybe that's the proof?), you can flirt and tease and battle with handsome, sexy Beasts.Longer review to come for AAR.
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  • Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsWinterathon 2019 - Published in June or July
  • Gretchen (About That Story)
    January 1, 1970
    Brazen and the Beast was seriously entertaining right from the start. It flowed so well and I was wrapped up in the characters’ lives, learning their histories, their dilemmas, feeling their pain, I was caught up in it all. It was riveting!I loved Hattie. She was such a strong woman, a fighter. I loved her tenacity and how she stood up for herself and just kept on pushing forward. She was so smart and witty and just an incredibly likable and enjoyable character. Whit. Oh Whit, oh dear Beast... i Brazen and the Beast was seriously entertaining right from the start. It flowed so well and I was wrapped up in the characters’ lives, learning their histories, their dilemmas, feeling their pain, I was caught up in it all. It was riveting!I loved Hattie. She was such a strong woman, a fighter. I loved her tenacity and how she stood up for herself and just kept on pushing forward. She was so smart and witty and just an incredibly likable and enjoyable character. Whit. Oh Whit, oh dear Beast... it's always those gruff ones that totally make me melt. He was so fantastic, loyal but quiet, so very commanding. And sexy. Hattie and Whit coming together was perfect, they were such a great match. The dialogue was excellent, I loved their verbal sparring and antagonist banter. It was so fun and I couldn't stop smiling. I could feel that chemistry building between them and when the sparks flew, it was freaking hot!Their story was just so well thought out with all these really great details. Excellent writing and descriptions with wonderful character development. It was entertaining yes but it had the perfect blend of emotion happening. I had these little flips in my stomach as special moments took place and beautiful words were said.I love the bond the Bareknuckle Bastards have, their good-natured ribbing and how they're there for each other. There are all these great characters, some small and don't play a big part but it helped to paint this elaborate picture of this world. To make it full and rich. It was awesome!This is officially one of my favorite reads of 2019! I was smiling and tearing up and fanning myself and just was thrilled to be reading it. It was exciting and engaging and just really well done. There were times I had to stop myself from reading fast because I didn't want to miss a thing but I was so consumed. I loved everything about this!Complimentary copy received for honest review.
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  • Tracy Emro
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley is preparing for a very special night out, but her plans are derailed even before they begin when she finds a gorgeous, unconscious man tied up in her carriage. Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of the “Year of Hattie”, this her 29th year will be the year she finally made her dreams come true and she refuses to let this man ruin it! She wakes him up and asks why he is in her carriage (even though she has a pretty good idea who put him there) – when he is les Lady Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley is preparing for a very special night out, but her plans are derailed even before they begin when she finds a gorgeous, unconscious man tied up in her carriage. Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of the “Year of Hattie”, this her 29th year will be the year she finally made her dreams come true and she refuses to let this man ruin it! She wakes him up and asks why he is in her carriage (even though she has a pretty good idea who put him there) – when he is less than cooperative, she unties him, he steals a kiss and she pushes him out of the carriage – problem solved and she can carry on with her night! Hattie wants nothing more than to take over her father’s shipping business, but her father wants her to marry and for her brother Augie to run the business, so she forms a plan to change his mind, Hattie is not opposed to marriage, but she has spent many seasons on the marriage mart and has never had an offer, she knows she is not what men consider attractive, she is too tall, too plump and too outspoken, but her father just refuses to believe it, so she will make herself unmarriageable and for that she needs to be ruined. Saviour “Whit” Whittington AKA the Beast is revered in Covent Gardens, he along with his brother Devil are known as the Bareknuckle Bastards and there is nothing that happens in Covent Gardens that they don’t know about – so when he wakes in a carriage and remembers that he was driving a shipment of goods and was attacked, he wants answers and he is pretty sure the intriguing woman who just pushed him out of her carriage is the key to discovering who robbed him.He finds her in a brothel for women and strikes a deal – she will find and return his goods and he will help her set her plan in motion by bedding her. Hattie knows her brother Augie stole Whit’s property and fears for his life, she returns home and finds her brother, stabbed and whining – she learns why he stole from the Bareknuckle Bastards and the staggering amount that he has taken. Hattie figures out a way to repay Whit and can’t wait for him to find her, instead she goes looking for him in Covent Gardens. He learns she is looking for him and tails her for a bit, he only intervenes when he believes she is in dangers, but much to his surprise, Hattie isn’t the one who needs saving! Who is this goddess and why does he want her so badly?I really loved this book, it is a well written, fast paced story with lots of emotion, action, great secondary characters, a heroine who can hold her own and doesn’t need saving, steamy love scenes, a bit of heartache, betrayal and dreams coming true! This is the second book in the series, but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone with no problem and I am happy to recommend it!*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected e-ARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher. *
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  • JG
    January 1, 1970
    In Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean delivers her next installment in her Bareknuckle Bastards series. This time she introduces us to a veritable amazon of a female heroine, Hattie. Hattie feels helpless in the fate society dictates upon her and therefore decides to make her own destiny. The first thing to do to start her year of taking control is to go to Covent Gardes. Then she meets Beast who literally becomes on obstacle to the start of her journey. When Whit aka Beast, master of Covent Ga In Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean delivers her next installment in her Bareknuckle Bastards series. This time she introduces us to a veritable amazon of a female heroine, Hattie. Hattie feels helpless in the fate society dictates upon her and therefore decides to make her own destiny. The first thing to do to start her year of taking control is to go to Covent Gardes. Then she meets Beast who literally becomes on obstacle to the start of her journey. When Whit aka Beast, master of Covent Gardens wakes up after a blow to the head, he was ready to take his attacker down. But then he wakes up to Hattie, unexpected but still a welcome surprise, especially after that kiss but not when she throws him out of the carriage. If she thinks he can't find her, she has another thing coming especially when he finds out where she's going and what she's about to do. What happens next is full of steamy encounters, spilling of secrets and a hidden enemy but the road to ever after is never dull.Because this is the second book in the series and because there is an overarching arch plot involving all three brothers, there was a danger that it could become a gap fillers until the last book is released which is usually the fate of some books in other series. Not so Brazen and the Beast. In fact it was almost jarring when that overarching plot was introduced past the middle of the book, since Hattie and Whit has charmed and made me so invested in their relationship. I loved how these two finally get together and how Hattie did get her independence not so it was given to her but she took control simply by outsmarting all the men including Whit. I am now ready for the next book, bring on Ewan and Grace!
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    I really, really wish I didn’t struggle with this series like I do. Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite historical romance authors (she gave us the Rules of Scoundrels series, which I worship), but the Bareknuckle Bastards series just doesn’t seem to be working for me. It’s not BAD, but it’s not that great either. I found myself bored more than anything with Brazen and the Beast, which was the same issue I had with book one, Wicked and the Wallflower. The plot moved too slowly that I had to skim I really, really wish I didn’t struggle with this series like I do. Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite historical romance authors (she gave us the Rules of Scoundrels series, which I worship), but the Bareknuckle Bastards series just doesn’t seem to be working for me. It’s not BAD, but it’s not that great either. I found myself bored more than anything with Brazen and the Beast, which was the same issue I had with book one, Wicked and the Wallflower. The plot moved too slowly that I had to skim parts of the book. The only saving grace to this book was Hattie, but even she wasn’t enough to make me love this one.Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley decides to make her 29th birthday the start of “The Year of Hattie,” in which she claims control of her life in terms of fortune, business, home, and future. I LOVED Hattie in the first half of this book. She was an awesome, head-strong woman who took charge of her life and didn’t look back. Unfortunately, one major bump in the road to The Year of Hattie is Whit, the second half of the Bareknuckle Bastards and co-ruler of the darker side of London. He sees Hattie and wants her, though he thinks he’s not good enough for her. What he will help her out with is her body – he’s determined to show her all the carnal pleasures of life, but nothing more.The first half of this book went great – I was excited for Hattie, excited to see how she’d manage her new life with the addition of Whit. She is very much an endearing, relatable heroine. The second half of the book however, went a little downhill for me. The plot felt like it stalled – Hattie claiming her father’s business didn’t go anywhere, Whit kept going on and on about not being good enough for Hattie and going hot and cold with her. The only thing that happened was more and more sex – which is great, but I also wanted to see more of The Year of Hattie besides her learning about her body.So yeah, I struggle with this. I think by the end of the book I was reading it for the secondary characters more than anything. I liked Hattie but didn’t care for Whit. SM tried to make Whit (and his brother) seem dark, dangerous, and broody, and while he is broody, he’s just not the dangerous character she writes him out to be. SM’s writing is great, and I did enjoy seeing little snippets of past characters from the Scandal & Scoundrel series. I’m clinging onto this series for the couple in the third and final book – Grace and Ewan’s story. They have been teased and hyped throughout the series and I am PRAYING that it won’t disappoint!
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  • Ali
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsThere is a lot to love in Brazen and the Beast, so let us start there. Hattie is a five star character, for me, 100%. The tale starts with her venturing into what she calls 'The Year of Hattie'. The year she thoroughly takes control of her own life, starting with an extremely bold move to make her self un-marriageable. I adored her from the very beginning. She's not a standard beauty and has some insecure moments because of that but those moments are balanced with so many more moments o 3.5 StarsThere is a lot to love in Brazen and the Beast, so let us start there. Hattie is a five star character, for me, 100%. The tale starts with her venturing into what she calls 'The Year of Hattie'. The year she thoroughly takes control of her own life, starting with an extremely bold move to make her self un-marriageable. I adored her from the very beginning. She's not a standard beauty and has some insecure moments because of that but those moments are balanced with so many more moments of pure strength. The title doesn't lie, she is brazen and wonderfully so. Beast (or Whit) would also get a rather high rating from me. Though, I am extremely partial to a hero of few words. He's just that. Expect a fair amount of grunting, he's good at that. Luckily, Hattie learns to speak it fluently quite quickly. The dichotomy between the two was perfection. Every interaction was entertaining even the moments that were heartbreaking. They are just so well suited and I love the way MacLean writes couples in just that way. While I loved the characters, the banter, the humor and the teasing side players...something was missing. I think sometimes the middle book in a trilogy can too easily become so much of a setup for the final book that some of the magic gets lost. Now, technically, you could read these as stand alone titles, the couples are all different but the stories are deeply intertwined. But there were things that needed to happen in this book to put all the players in place for the next and I felt like that became too much of this plot line that Hattie and Beast really didn't have as much action as maybe they could have. I could just be really picky because I love Hattie so much and I wanted more. I don't know. But I do know there were parts that seemed to drag on more than they needed to and I thought maybe it was just to get the word count instead of giving them some real action. Also, there was a thing or two that felt unresolved. Not terribly important things but I still would have liked them touched on. I HATE TYPING THAT. This is a favorite author of mine and I adore her books, but I feel how I feel. It's still a great book and I'll always be fond of the year of Hattie, I just don't know if it will be at the top of my re-read pile.
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  • Christi
    January 1, 1970
    Oh yum!!!! I really loved Wicked and the Wallflower, so much so that I reread it before starting this. And as lovely and marvelous as that book was, Brazen and the Beast was even better. Whit is absolutely everything and Hattie!!!! I love her bold, brilliant mind and her passion. It’s incredible. Super steamy, emotional, series characters
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  • nick
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5There's a reason why Sarah MacLean is one of the most beloved historical romance authors. I'm not sure how she did it, but with Brazen and the Beast she has written a book that is even more superior to the first book, which was pretty fantastic on its own. Brazen and the Beast was one of those all-engrossing stories that pulled me in from the start and it's all because of the sizzling chemistry between our hero and heroine. At 29, Hattie has goals far more interesting than marriage. It's th 4.5/5There's a reason why Sarah MacLean is one of the most beloved historical romance authors. I'm not sure how she did it, but with Brazen and the Beast she has written a book that is even more superior to the first book, which was pretty fantastic on its own. Brazen and the Beast was one of those all-engrossing stories that pulled me in from the start and it's all because of the sizzling chemistry between our hero and heroine. At 29, Hattie has goals far more interesting than marriage. It's the "Year of Hattie" and she is ready to take control of her life. She wants to run her father's business and to live her life on her own terms. In Hattie, MacLean has written a well-rounded character, who was sharp, intelligent, and diligent. It was a treat to watch her settle into the clever and goal-driven woman that she was. Hattie was the sort of character that you root for from start to finish, and it was clear to me that she was the star of Brazen and the Beast. I loved that she took whatever obstacle that came her way through its horns and never backed down. Whit, our hero, at first glance appears to be one of those hurdles in her path that turns out to be one the best thing that could happen to her. He and his brother are known as the Bareknuckle Bastards in the streets of London. They've got a reputation of being tough, but no one really knows how soft these guys are on the inside. Whit was not a man of many words. He grunts and mumbles more than he actually speaks and everyone knows that I was here for that. The most attractive thing about Whit was how protective he was. We see that side of his emerge when he grows a soft spot for Hattie. The man was ready to act as Hattie's personal red carpet and I was a complete sucker for that. Oh and the dirty talk. Phew, boy! There is just something about non-communicative heroes who are outspoken in the bedroom. The romance in Brazen and the Beast is fantastic because Whit would do absolutely anything for Hattie. He was entirely devoted to her and it was fun to watch this so-called dangerous guy go completely gaga over her. Hattie and Whit had a great dynamic together. Their witty banter was one of the highlights of the book for me.Honestly, this book had everything that is good about historical romance. I also love how Sarah MacLean kept building the plot to the next book which is going to feature a super torturous (in a good way) romance with a hero who is going to be on his knees for half of the book. I.CAN'T.WAIT.
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  • Jenica
    January 1, 1970
    God bless, Avon, and Netgalley for granting my wish and allowing me to read this book early. I’ve had it pre-ordered from my local Indie for a few months now and I’m so excited for it to release to the world at large. Whit is a gruff hero and for some reason I’m back in that mood where gruff heroes melting is like, my everything. Sometimes I just find that annoying, but not right now! Anyway, the point is, this book is about Hattie focusing on her Year of Hattie. She has a plan and Whit being ti God bless, Avon, and Netgalley for granting my wish and allowing me to read this book early. I’ve had it pre-ordered from my local Indie for a few months now and I’m so excited for it to release to the world at large. Whit is a gruff hero and for some reason I’m back in that mood where gruff heroes melting is like, my everything. Sometimes I just find that annoying, but not right now! Anyway, the point is, this book is about Hattie focusing on her Year of Hattie. She has a plan and Whit being tied up in the carriage she needs to get to her plan is really a problem. Except, Whit is extremely handsome and even once she (LITERALLY) kicks him out of the carriage, she can’t stop thinking about him. And then he shows up where she is… I just adore their relationship and Hattie and Whit as individual characters too. There’s something about them that just feels so right? I’m not sure how to describe it. Anyway, I loved this installment of the series and can’t wait for book three!! (Also have you SEEN the stepback for this book? It is utterly delightful.)*ARC received through NetGalley*
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  • Ginger at GReadsBooks.com
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this world. 😍 I love this fictional historical romance world that Sarah MacLean has beautifully crafted. The Bareknuckle Bastards are every bit delightful, witty, and jarringly handsome. However, it is the ladies that are stealing the show. Hattie radiates from page to page. I think she might just be my favorite heroine yet. I love her strength and determination. She’s a feminist who matches Whit, the Beast, so perfectly. This story is wonderful & I can’t wait for book 3!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    The second entry in Sarah MacLean's Bareknuckle Bastards series is a delightful romp, full of adventure and passion. Hattie is bright, ambitious, and determined to take charge of her life at the age of twenty-nine, including convincing her father to let her take over the family shipping business. Whit, known in Covent Garden as Beast, is a man of few words, who will do anything to protect his siblings and his smuggling business. The two of them get tangled professionally and personally, and Whit The second entry in Sarah MacLean's Bareknuckle Bastards series is a delightful romp, full of adventure and passion. Hattie is bright, ambitious, and determined to take charge of her life at the age of twenty-nine, including convincing her father to let her take over the family shipping business. Whit, known in Covent Garden as Beast, is a man of few words, who will do anything to protect his siblings and his smuggling business. The two of them get tangled professionally and personally, and Whit can't seem to keep away from Hattie even when it puts them both in danger. This is classic Sarah MacLean: thrilling story, real stakes, and emotional growth for hero and heroine. I stayed up far too late reading to finish it, and I can't wait for the next book!
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  • ALPHAreader
    January 1, 1970
    'Brazen and the Beast' is the second book in Sarah MacLean's new historical romance series, 'The Bareknuckle Bastards'.I became OBSESSED with this new his-rom from MacLean, that is largely set in the "underworld" of London in Covent Garden, and is a bit of an upstairs/downstairs for centring around four siblings - three of whom are from the "gutters" and the first two books focused on brothers Devil and Beast, had them paired with ladies ("toffs") from the gentry. First book was about Devil and 'Brazen and the Beast' is the second book in Sarah MacLean's new historical romance series, 'The Bareknuckle Bastards'.I became OBSESSED with this new his-rom from MacLean, that is largely set in the "underworld" of London in Covent Garden, and is a bit of an upstairs/downstairs for centring around four siblings - three of whom are from the "gutters" and the first two books focused on brothers Devil and Beast, had them paired with ladies ("toffs") from the gentry. First book was about Devil and Felicity, who are now married when we dive into 'Brazen and the Beast' which is all about brother Beast and his Lady Henrietta Sedley. Surprising no one, this second book from MacLean is more brilliance; an absolute master-class in a new era of historical romance that is both feminist, progressive, and hot as all get-out! It starts with Henrietta 'Hattie' being a larger-than-life woman (literally) who has always been *too much* for the ton; too loud, tall, plump, ambitious ... her father runs a shipping company, and it is her great desire to inherit it over her brother and have some control over her own life and future. Since Hattie is 29 and unlikely to ever wed, running the family business is her one chance to be the master of her fate - until she crosses paths with Beast 'Whit' Bareknuckle Bastard of London. This is more of MacLean casting off the ballrooms and sitting-rooms of most historical romances, of putting aside this idea of nobility and class to delve into much more working-class and inclusive sides of London rarely seen in such books - and it's the reading-equivalent of loosening our corsets, for readers and Hattie alike. It even changes the tropes of his-rom, when we have Hattie who is so desperate to take herself out of that gentry equation and not marry into money or security, but make her own way and take care of herself. It's incredible that MacLean is totally upending the usual "rules" of the genre, but still settling us into this fabulous saga series based around a family whose rejection of title is both what made them, and what could break them ...Hattie and Beast/Whit are SUCH a good pairing. MacLean really explores in them, this idea of equality - and what it means to truly be *partners*, especially in a world where women are reliant on men to dictate all aspects of their lives ... and it's also so interesting for how she puts a microscope on this within romantic relationships of the genre, when a key ingredient for a happy-ending is the hero choosing her own path. Also: Whit and Hattie are HOT. This is some of the best sex-scenes and scenes if intimacy, reminding why and how MacLean remains at the top of this game. It's pretty hard to see how future book/s in the series will top Beast...On that note; I'm a little in two minds about the next book in the series being about Grace and Ewan - the latter being the menacing brother-villain looming over the whole series, and Grace as his childhood sweetheart he's been made to believe has died. Part of me was hoping that *maybe* Grace and Ewan wouldn't be paired up, only so we could get TWO more books in this series .... I also half-hoped that *maybe* Grace could get an LGBT+ storyline (though in 'Brazen' we get the hints of a fabulous one, between Hattie's friend Nora and Covent sentry Anika - that I hope continues into the next book) ... and I thought it could be interesting if Ewan's story was about having to move on from what he thought was his GREAT LOVE, and what that would do to who he eventually ends up with - someone who won't want to feel like they'll always place second? BUT; it does seem that MacLean is steadfast in pairing Ewan and Grace, and I am resigned ... and also keen to see how she'll flip and subvert what is clearly meant to be a Catherine and Heathcliff dysfunctional pairing (Please - I am here for MacLean to scream from the rooftops that "WUTHERING HEIGHTS IS NOT A ROMANCE!" and show us how it would need to be flipped and fixed to become one). I also appreciated 'Brazen and the Beast' for the little cameos from MacLean's other series (I noted two - but I'm sure there's more I didn't realise or haven't read yet?). It was a lovely reminder of how full and well-rounded this world feels that MacLean keeps dipping us back into, and why I'm so sad to think there's only one 'Bareknuckle Bastards' book left. Bring on 2020!
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  • The Bookshelf Wars
    January 1, 1970
    Flowery Prose and Plot Holes AboundSo I consider myself a fan of Sarah MacLean’s work; I’ve read all her books and I await each new release with breathless anticipation. Which is why it was strange how underwhelming this book was.There’s a common misconception that the romance genre is all dashing heroes and overblown prose, and while it’s true that some of the genre definitely fits that description, I’ve usually held up MacLean’s work as an example of great romance novels. Her characters often Flowery Prose and Plot Holes AboundSo I consider myself a fan of Sarah MacLean’s work; I’ve read all her books and I await each new release with breathless anticipation. Which is why it was strange how underwhelming this book was.There’s a common misconception that the romance genre is all dashing heroes and overblown prose, and while it’s true that some of the genre definitely fits that description, I’ve usually held up MacLean’s work as an example of great romance novels. Her characters often undergo complex emotional journeys, the feelings aren’t all hearts and flowers, and there’s a fair bit of action too. Generally, her writing eschews the unfortunate stereotypes of the genre, but Brazen and the Beast plays right into them instead.On the surface, it should have made for a unique story. An earl’s daughter, striving to inherit her father’s shipping business, clashes with a criminal lord of Covent Garden, who throws some serious kinks into her plans. Cue the snappy banter and sexual tension. Except Hattie talks about wanting and deserving her father’s business (a lot), but you don’t really see her striving for it until the end of the book, and even then she would totally throw all her aspirations away for a hot guy she’s only known a week.And let’s examine the hot guy in question: Beast, one of the eponymous Bareknuckle Bastards. He’s billed as the brooding, silent type who would die for anyone under his charge. But if he’s so silent, why is he talking so much? All the other characters make a bunch of quips about how he only communicates in grunts, but he somehow finds the opportunity to deliver mini-monologues in every other chapter. And I get that he feels the need to protect everyone because of his mother, but the whole “two watches” bit? Because he was too late to save her? Total overkill. Also, I thought the watches were going to play some interesting role in the plot, but that never panned out. Talk about a loose thread.The character deficiencies were not helped by some pretty gaping plot holes. If Beast knows his evil brother is in cahoots with Hattie’s incompetent brother, why is he still trying to get a name out of Hattie? If Hattie hadn’t made the deal with her brother to save him from Beast, how would she have convinced her father to turn over the business to her? The whole Year of Hattie five-point plan was mentioned a bunch, but it seemed more like a vague outline than an actual working scheme. And why did Beast think that buying the shipping business would save Hattie from his evil brother? It made no sense, and if there was even a half-assed explanation, I completely missed it.And the cherry on top was the independent woman theme. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this theme... usually. As with most literary themes, it works best if it’s seamlessly incorporated into the plot (show, not tell). But MacLean bashed us over the head with it, repeatedly. She set up entire conversations to give Hattie epic one-liners about being a woman in a man’s world, and then flubbed the delivery. The cringe-worthy dialogue and flowery prose just made it even worse.So is this story worth your time? I don’t really think so. But I’ll give MacLean some brownie points for the original premise and cross my fingers in the hope that the next one is better. And in the meantime, I’ll go back and re-read her previous works. Maybe I was delusional when I read them, and they’re just as bad as this one. Or maybe they’re just as good as I remember them.Verdict: 2 stars.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review....so here goes.This book surprised the heck out of me. I have only ever read one other book by Sarah MacLean and I wasn't a big fan. Nope, I just lied. I read two from a series hoping the second would be better and when I didn't think it was, I bailed on the series. So lets start by saying, I went into this book not expecting much at all. Holy Hades, was I wrong.This was the perfect regency romance novel in my opinion. THERE Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review....so here goes.This book surprised the heck out of me. I have only ever read one other book by Sarah MacLean and I wasn't a big fan. Nope, I just lied. I read two from a series hoping the second would be better and when I didn't think it was, I bailed on the series. So lets start by saying, I went into this book not expecting much at all. Holy Hades, was I wrong.This was the perfect regency romance novel in my opinion. THERE WAS A STORY! and it was interesting! Whoa, hello? Did I lose you guys? Don't worry, there was tons of sex too. We'll get there...just bare with me. The story in this book made sense and was intriguing. I wanted to know more. This book made me want to go back and read the first and it made me excited for the next book in the series. Which is a big deal because reading the second in a series first you kind of already know what you would learn from the first but whatever, I'm gonna read it anyways...that's the level of love and dedication I have for this book. I will say that most regency romance novels that I've read either have no story or the story is there but it's not great because it's not the driving force behind the novel. Either things won't add up or they won't really get settled. This story just felt whole. I really appreciated it. I was totally here for it and can't wait to see where it goes next. Now...onward with the sex! This novel also has many of everyone's favorite bedroom olympic games including the deep dive, the bedchamber rug thrusts, stRoking the fire, and many many more. I was also here for that. We all were. That's why we read this stuff. This book starts out with the lady doing something most would think scandalous. Yet it takes her a pretty long time in the book to actually do something truly scandalous. But, it's worth it. I mean com on guys, she's a lady in the streets....give her some time to grow into her scandal in sheets self. It's worth it.OMG, how could i forget the heroine. This heroine is tough. She's going to fight for what she wants and she doesn't back down. Also...She's curvy which is a rare thing in these. I loved Hattie. Maybe my favorite heroine yet! Anyways, long story short. If you want to read a regency romance novel that is a fast yet thoroughly entertaining read with action, adventure, scandal, and fun...check this one out. It won't disappoint you. If it does....we can't be friends.
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  • Smut Report
    January 1, 1970
    Review also available at The Smut Report.Heat Factor: I love the way MacLean writes sex. A+Character Chemistry: The bickering-because-I’m-into-you is greatPlot: bananasOverall: I wouldn’t mind being HattieI so hope I can adequately describe this book. It has all the hallmarks of a MacLean novel, which is to say, it’s delightful. It’s dramatic and emotional and lively and a little bit outrageous. So. What might one pretty much always find in a MacLean novel? - A heroine who thinks there’s somethi Review also available at The Smut Report.Heat Factor: I love the way MacLean writes sex. A+Character Chemistry: The bickering-because-I’m-into-you is greatPlot: bananasOverall: I wouldn’t mind being HattieI so hope I can adequately describe this book. It has all the hallmarks of a MacLean novel, which is to say, it’s delightful. It’s dramatic and emotional and lively and a little bit outrageous. So. What might one pretty much always find in a MacLean novel? - A heroine who thinks there’s something wrong with herself that makes her unloveable - An alpha-ish hero with 1000% too much testosterone and a serious case of emotional constipation - Something threatens the heroine that seems to require brute strength but actually requires unlocking an emotional vault - Characters from other books are mentioned or crop up throughout the storyI can’t get enough. It’s the perfect combination of everything I like in a historical romance and just enough over-the-top everything else to be riveting and, as I had previously stated, delightful. Brazen and the Beast is no exception. It has been some time since I read book one (Wicked and the Wallflower) of this new series, the Bareknuckle Bastards (which, come on--it’s hard to take seriously...and then it’s impossible not to), but I would say that Brazen and the Beast is stronger. It also doesn’t start with the somewhat cryptic and overly dramatic prologue that began Wicked and the Wallflower and seemed like it’d be plugged into the beginning of every book in this series, so that’s already a good start. The story centers on Hattie, who is turning 29 and has decided that her 29th year will be the Year of Hattie. She will seize her life, take control of her future! Nine years ago she might have thought she was going to get married and have a family but now… It’s time to get real. No one is going to marry Hattie, and she is really good at running her father’s business. Unfortunately, her father thinks she needs to fill that womanly role and is not on board with handing over the family business to her. Therefore, phase one of the Year of Hattie is: lose virginity. Then marriage is out of the question. Checkmate, Daddy!Unfortunately, as she is about to embark on phase one, she finds a man in her carriage. A big, unconscious man, who is the handsomest man she’s ever seen. That man is Beast (not for his looks, obvi), and he is a Bareknuckle Bastard. A King of Covent Garden. A powerful man in the darkness of the streets. I’m gonna be honest--it’s a little ridiculous...and it’s also compelling. Dukes don’t have all the power. Sometimes men who run criminal enterprises and have hearts of gold also have power. Also Beast’s real name is Saviour Whittington. A++ to MacLean for a name like that. So Beast, a.k.a. Whit, wakes up in Hattie’s carriage as she’s on her way to be debauched, and the rest is history. They’re adversaries, they’re allies, he falls in love with her, his crazy third brother the-evil-Duke-who-is-illegitimate-and-will-be-a-hero-we-love-in-the-next-book threatens her, they become adversaries again because he can’t risk her safety even if it means he never sees her again (I mean, really, can you BE any more stubbornly romance-heroey?), he tries to protect her, he FAILS HARD…. There are BOMBS and underground SURGERIES and SEX ON BOATS. I wasn’t at first sold on the Bareknuckle Bastards because I do love an alpha aristocrat hero, but MacLean has created an environment in which Beast and his brother, Devil, have the power and the money that parallels that of aristocratic heroes. They even have their own little world in Covent Garden with bird whistles and cane tapping and other delightful mysterious secret methods of communicating so they can manage their kingdom in secret. The result is a level of power that rivals or even outstrips that of most aristocrats in these novels. At the same time it’s impossible to say that a Covent Garden crime ring and the London aristocracy are the same thing, so there’s going to be a lot of baggage for Beast/Whit as he navigates his feelings for Lady Henrietta. Hattie’s father came from humble beginnings and has been elevated to Earl, but he’s a life peer, so she’s got one foot in Society and one foot outside of it, which is a nice flourish on the relationship problem in an Uptown Girl scenario.The way Hattie and Whit navigate their relationship as they playfully antagonize each other makes all the other drama feel fresh and engaging. This book could easily be over the top, with secret fights and murderous dukes and a crime family called the Bareknuckle Bastards (of all things), and maybe it is a little bit over the top. But in such a good way. I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255. Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
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  • Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    The second installment in Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastard series hits shelves in July, but I was lucky enough to receive an early copy. Reader, it’s perfection. This book is my new religion. It’s Lady Henrietta Sedley’s birthday and she’s celebrating by taking control of her destiny. With the help of her best friend Nora, she sets out to begin the Year of Hattie. The only thing standing in her way is Whit, more commonly known as Beast. As a hero, Beast is my catnip. MacLean beautifully craft The second installment in Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastard series hits shelves in July, but I was lucky enough to receive an early copy. Reader, it’s perfection. This book is my new religion. It’s Lady Henrietta Sedley’s birthday and she’s celebrating by taking control of her destiny. With the help of her best friend Nora, she sets out to begin the Year of Hattie. The only thing standing in her way is Whit, more commonly known as Beast. As a hero, Beast is my catnip. MacLean beautifully crafts a hero who’s experienced such deep loss and sadness that he cuts himself off to avoid ever feeling that way again. He’s far more vulnerable than he dares let on, as is our phenomenal heroine. Hattie is the kind of heroine I want to get a drink with. She’s fierce in her determination, driven by her desire to change her life, and unflinching when it comes to protecting the people and things she loves. Though she’s plagued by feelings of doubt instilled by society’s expectations of what a woman should be, she doesn’t let it hold her back. Their chemistry is knot (pun intended) to be missed. Also, I want to join Hattie and Nora’s girl gang. These women support and empower each other in the best of ways. MacLean delivers a captivating story packed with sizzling romance and characters readers will want to return to again and again. —Kelly (excerpted from Bookish's Staff Reads)
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  • Escape_in_a_Book
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss. All comments/opinions are my own.Ooooh this book. This poor poor book. Where does one even begin... Let’s just jump right to it and state I am not a fan. If you’ve read the first book in this series, then you’ve read this already.Three brothers, bastards. All born on the same day. At the same time. To three separate women. Two brothers are living in the seedy underbelly of London. One is running about as a Duke and trying I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss. All comments/opinions are my own.Ooooh this book. This poor poor book. Where does one even begin... Let’s just jump right to it and state I am not a fan. If you’ve read the first book in this series, then you’ve read this already.Three brothers, bastards. All born on the same day. At the same time. To three separate women. Two brothers are living in the seedy underbelly of London. One is running about as a Duke and trying to kill the other two. That is the meat of this series. I kid you not. That ridiculous spoof is the basis of our plot. This series is heavy in hero’s who don’t use their words to communicate. They lend heavily toward such sexy plot crutches as grunting and lonnng heavy stares. Lucky for these gents, the women of their choosing have come equipped with grunt ciphers and understand all of this non-communication to a T. Essentially books one and two in this series are just buying time to move us along to the next which will be Ewan (our badass Duke who is actually just a shitty person) and Grace (their sister/non sister- yes you read that correctly). Ewan has tried multiple times to kill his brothers in an attempt to squirrel out his non-sister who he has a major “love” vibe for. Stalker. Possessive. Toxic obsession. Those are the adjectives I would choose to describe their bizarre “relationship”. Let me get to some problematic AF moments that I have with this series. Mind you, the authors previous works I have been a fan of. However now we have a series that I feel is putting forth some really off messages. The anti-hero is a fine line. You cannot make someone a lunatic that is bent on MURDER and reform that into a romantic hero. This is presenting obsession, possessive tendencies, violence out of “love” as ROMANCE. What the ever loving fill in the blank. At this point it is irresponsible to present Ewan as the love interest in the coming book(s) of this series. My fingers are figuratively crossed that he gets killed off and some shiny new character swoops in and saves this mess. Authors. STOP ROMANTACIZING TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.My other problematic issue. This giant elephant in the room that we’ll label: Whit’s Unwrapped Penis. You mean to tell me, that this man is a “King” of the underworld, he rolls with all of the unsavory types, his sister is a madam of her own brothel ................. and he could not get his hands on a crinkly sheep skin condom?!?!!? Please. Do better by your readers. Authors. STOP ROMANTICIZING UNSAFE SEX PRACTICES.Everyone is raving about the power they feel from a full figured heroine. I’m sorry but that moment is overshadowed by UNHEALTHY THEMES. What could have been a great moment of an empowered woman in historical romance, leaned heavily on the heroine’s body type to the point of kitsch. I am a reader who flies through books and it took me over a month to wade through this miasma of problematic scenes.
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  • Dot Salvagin
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, this is another gem from the brilliant Sarah MacLean. This book has 400 pages but I was turning pages at warp speed to find out what would happen next. Hattie is a woman whose ideas are ahead of her time but she is intelligent, feisty and determined that she will take over her father's business as opposed to her near-do-well brother. Beast is already in charge of his kingdom by the Themes along with his brother Devil. There are villains but an especially evil one who adds to the danger for Yes, this is another gem from the brilliant Sarah MacLean. This book has 400 pages but I was turning pages at warp speed to find out what would happen next. Hattie is a woman whose ideas are ahead of her time but she is intelligent, feisty and determined that she will take over her father's business as opposed to her near-do-well brother. Beast is already in charge of his kingdom by the Themes along with his brother Devil. There are villains but an especially evil one who adds to the danger for both Beast and Hattie. I can highly recommend this standalone book in the Bareknuckle Bastards Series. References are made to the previous book which whets my appetite to read that one, WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER. Try this one, you're gonna love it.I received this book free for review from the publisher.More reviews at: http://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com
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  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: stabbing, theft, explosions, physical violence, mentions of child abuse (in the past), misogyny, (view spoiler)[serious injury to a loved one (hide spoiler)].Things that are delightful about this book:1. Plus sized heroine in a historical romance2. A mixture of 1830s high society and seedy underbelly 3. Characters from other Sarah MacLean books crop up occasionally like little Easter eggs4. F/F side plot5. Badass heroine with a head for business who's determined to take every e Trigger warnings: stabbing, theft, explosions, physical violence, mentions of child abuse (in the past), misogyny, (view spoiler)[serious injury to a loved one (hide spoiler)].Things that are delightful about this book:1. Plus sized heroine in a historical romance2. A mixture of 1830s high society and seedy underbelly 3. Characters from other Sarah MacLean books crop up occasionally like little Easter eggs4. F/F side plot5. Badass heroine with a head for business who's determined to take every element of her life into her own hands6. Hero who is ride-or-die for his siblings7. The romance is adorable and swoony and great8. BanterBasically? I sped through this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although I'm a liiiiiiiittle uncertain how I feel about the concept for the next book in the series............
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