Big. Boss Lady. Energy.
I loved this Second-Chance at Love, Enemies to Lovers, Rival Business Owners romance! Sixteen years ago Beatrice Goodwin made the decision to follow her family’s and society’s expectations and marry a Duke instead of following her heart and running away with Wes Dalton. Now divorced, the 36 year-old Beatrice is back in New York with the family and business she loves – Goodwin’s Department Store. The only problem? Goodwin’s isn’t the booming business it once was and her brother, along with the rest of the board of directors, have decided to sell. And the man who’s going to buy is none other than Wes Dalton himself, the owner of the prosperous rival department store Dalton’s. But Beatrice isn’t going to let go of Goodwin’s without a fight (because she’s a bad-ass boss lady) and soon Dalton realizes that the only thing he wants to win is her heart.
I was truly delighted with this book. From Beatrice’s determination, business-savvy, and girl gang mentality to Dalton’s obvious affection (pining!), respect, and growth. I was rereading a section right before writing this and had to force myself to stop. The chemistry and repartee between Beatrice and Dalton just so amazing! You can feel not only the pain and depth of their history, but the promise of their future as well. Plus there’s some pretty hot department store sex scenes, which I am 100% here for.
What really made this story so impactful for me however, is that it’s about so much more than two people’s second chance at love and an HEA. (Though that happens too!) This is the third installment in Rodale’s entire Guilded Age Girls Club series, which I am totally obsessed with. Each story features an entrepreneurial member of an exclusive society called the Ladies of Liberty Club – based on a real group of women who worked to expand the opportunities available to women in the late 19th century! This series is also focused on taking back “girl stuff.” As Rodale puts it: “Like romance novels, traditionally lady-centric stuff like dresses with pockets, lipstick, and shopping, is often dismissed even though – or maybe because – these things have been so empowering to women.” It is very much about women reclaiming their power and it is beautiful!