Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Review & Giveaway - - The Stranger I Wed

The Stranger I Wed
by Harper St. George
The Doves of New York - Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 23, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Cora Dove and her sisters’ questionable legitimacy has been the lifelong subject of New York’s gossipmongers and a continual stain on their father’s reputation. So when the girls each receive a generous, guilt-induced dowry from their dying grandmother, the sly Mr. Hathaway vows to release their funds only if Cora and her sisters can procure suitable husbands—far from New York. For Cora, England is a fresh start. She has no delusions of love, but a husband who will respect her independence? That’s an earl worth fighting for.

Enter: Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth, a no-nonsense member of Parliament whose plan to pass a Public Health bill that would provide clean water to the working class requires the backing of a wealthy wife.  He just never expected to crave Cora’s touch or yearn to hear her thoughts on his campaign—or to discover that his seemingly perfect bride protects so many secrets...

But secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface, and Devonworth has a few of his own. With their pasts laid bare and Cora’s budding passion for women’s rights taking a dangerous turn, they’ll learn the true cost of losing their heart to a stranger—and that love is worth any price.

PJ's Thoughts:

A promising start to Harper St. George’s new series about three American sisters and their British journeys to love…or not. It’s an interesting take on the American dollar princesses who were typically the adored, legitimate daughters of industry icons, not the cast aside illegitimate daughters of a member of one of New York’s wealthiest, founding families and his (also cast aside) mistress.

First up is eldest sister, Cora, an opinionated feminist, protective of her younger sisters, wary of love, and needing to marry a peer in order to obtain an inheritance from the grandmother who shunned her in life. Enter Leo, the Earl of Devonworth, a peer with a concern for the lower classes, a need for money, protective of his family and, oh yes, also wary of love. What follows is a slow-burn marriage of convenience that had me cheering these two on to their hard-earned, well-deserved, happily ever after…after negotiating more than a few road blocks along the way. 

St. George brings the Gilded Age to life in this book (as well as her previous series). In fact, a few of the main characters from the earlier series have pivotal roles in this one. I enjoy the setting, especially the emergence of women in more visible public roles (though suffrage is still considered a radical movement and can be a dangerous enterprise). One of the things that endeared Leo to me was how respectful he was of Cora’s opinions and how they worked together on his speeches to Parliament. Of course, he’s also very concerned about her safety which leads to a few confrontations but, as with any relationship, it’s a work in progress. I enjoyed the slow burn of their romance, how the desire and depth of feelings gradually evolved from partners to friends to much, much more. It felt very authentic, especially considering past events in each of their lives. 

I’m eager to discover what the author has in store for Cora’s two younger sisters as well as their somewhat unpredictable mother. I’ll be looking forward to books two and three with eager anticipation.

Have you read Harper St. George yet?

Do you enjoy Gilded Age romances? Do you have a preference between those set in the U.S. and those in England? 

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, April 26 will receive a print copy of The Stranger I Wed.

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. I haven't read Harper yet but I've been interested in picking up one of her books.

  2. I have read most of the books in her last series and look forward to this new series. I enjoy historical romance fiction from all time periods. I particularly like the scenario of an American going abroad and falling in love with a resident of the UK.

  3. I haven't read Harper's novel but look forward to enjoying them greatly. The Gilded Age interests me very much and is a favorite era for me. The lifestyle and the storyline is fascinating. Both from the American and British setting are intriguing. This will be extremely interesting.

  4. This is another new to me author. I am a fan of strong female characters. I do not have a preference for one time period over another. I also do not have a preference for either U S settings or British. But, to be honest, I just realized I read a lot more British set stories. It is nice to see a member of the House of Lords who is interested in people of a lower class. Humanity does exist in the wealthy.

  5. I think you might have introduced me to Harper St George, PJ. I haven't read all her books yet, but I have loved the ones I've read! I absolutely love Gilded Age romances no matter where they take place!

  6. I have seen several of her books, but have not yet read any.
    I haven't read many books set in the Gilded Age. I would likely enjoy those set in America as well as those set in England. The social pressures and expectations are similar, but would manifest themselves differently because of the difference in the home societies.

    1. I don't know why, but the previous comment registered as Anonymouse instead of posting my name as usual.. Patricia B.

  7. Great review! I haven’t read Harper St. George yet, but I do enjoy Gilded Age romances.

  8. Well, that's three reviews in a row where the books were added to my TBR list! I've read Harper St. George's previous series. I enjoy reading Gilded Age books as a break from my usual historical fare of Regencies. The Dollar Princesses capture my interest and imagination. (Peeking ahead at today's review, it may be four!)

  9. I like both the settings in England or America as long as it's a good book it doesn't matter