Review “Baron” (Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

Image belongs to Joanna Shupe and Kensington Publishing Corporation.

Shupe, Joanna. Baron. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publshing Corp., 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1420139860. Print List Price: $7.99.

(4.5 stars)

I would like to start off this review by discussing the cover for a bit. For the most part, the publisher has done a good job of not falling into the trap of including a shirtless man on all the covers in this series, and actually dressing the models up in something that represents the period. But the way they depict William Sloane on here is a miss. He is described in both Magnate and Baron as having sandy blonde hair, not dark brown hair, as the model has. I am aware of the trend toward “tall, dark, and handsome,” but that does not apply in this case.

I began this book somewhat hesitantly, unsure if I would like William Sloane that much, As I said in my review of Magnate, while the setting is different, American historicals share some of the same conventions with their British counterparts, particularly in terms of the sense of hierarchy and the need to “marry among your own class.” But I started to see that Will isn’t really this stiff upper-lip upper-crust sort, but he had been conditioned to be that way by society and his father’s exacting expectations. He makes himself physically ill trying to bend backwards to be what is expected, being a railroad tycoon and trying to run a successful political campaign without scandals, while also fighting the attraction he has for Ava.

Ava is a great heroine. You see the life of someone who is still trying to make ends meet within the late nineteenth century America through her, and I admire that even though she could have taken the easy way out and become Will’s mistress, she keeps trying to fight the passion they have for each other.

Again, I find myself wishing she was continuing with the series, as this book baits us with the possibility of puppy love between Ava’s brother, Tom and Emmett’s sister, Katie. It would be nice to see how over time it might develops, and if it grows it something more, or if it remains an adolescent infatuation.

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