The Year of Hattie! Yes, it is time for the review of Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean. The heroine, the amazing Lady Henrietta Sedley has declared it her year, and you can’t help but be excited about it (and her) from the start of this glorious novel!! Yep, I LOVED IT!! This book is fabulous for Hattie alone, but then you meet her hero Whit, aka Beast and you are done for!
This is the fourteenth book in the Summer of Sarah MacLean event and the second in The Barenuckle Bastards series. The event hosts are Kelly Gallucci (bookish.kelly, Instagram) and Dana Cuadrado (To All the Nerdy Girls, Instagram).
Check out the Fangirlish website for my reviews of the previous eleven books! Below is where I stand on my Summer of Sarah MacLean bingo card:
I have to say Hattie ranks as one of my favourite of MacLean’s heroines, she knows who she is and what she wants and she’s going for it! That doesn’t mean she is without insecurities, but they just make her more human. Hattie knows her strengths, she is a damn good businesswoman who should be running the family shipping business. But she also knows her weaknesses, she doesn’t fit the mold of a society lady, she is bigger physically which has led to a lack of suitors.
Hattie is not going to let her lack of suitors hold back from having an amazing life. So she puts any thoughts of marriage and family aside to focus on the happy she can achieve running her own business – there is more than one path to happily ever after!
The Year of Hattie begins on Hattie’s 29th birthday. I love how organized she is! Then Whit aka Beast enters, and things just get more interesting 😉 He was not part of the plan. Squee!!
Whit, brother to Wicked and the Wallflower’s Devil is a man of few words. But he doesn’t really need them. Yep, I just said that. From their initial meet-cute where Hattie throws Whit out of a moving carriage, their romance is non-stop awesome!
It was enjoyable to watch Devil get his moment to tease his brother. The brothers’ relationship is fast becoming my favourite part of this series.
Like most of MacLean’s hero’s Whit is not perfect from the start – but he does have his moments 😉 Hattie is more than a formidable foe for Whit when he must be challenged, meeting him step for step. Of course, this only impressed him more. In his quiet Tom Hardy sort of way, that’s how I picture it.
Like all great MacLean heroes, there was very much a need for Whit to grovel. He truly was a sight to behold on a ship. I’ll say nothing else but it’s a MUST READ.
This book also introduces MacLean’s first lesbian romance. She has hinted that at least one character was gay in a previous book but this time around the secondary romance of Nic and Nora was without question. It was so refreshing to see a same-sex romance in a historical novel. It didn’t hurt that both women were pretty awesome in their own rights – so happy to root for them to have their own happily ever after together.
On a personal note, I really appreciated the microaggressions that MacLean showed Hattie facing due to her size. It’s not just the obvious, she wasn’t chosen bell of the ball. I am fat and have spent most of my life hearing these slights. Hattie heard them too, they hurt, but she preserved and knew her worth despite what others said. It was so inspiring.
I could not put this book now and would need not be surprised if I go back for a reread for inspiration. Hattie and Whit are truly a delight! You can purchase Brazen and the Beast on the Kobo and Amazon websites.