I enjoyed Mr. Dale And The Divorcee due to its differences and uniqueness. This book focuses on a more mature couple that is not members of the aristocracy. I related quickly to James and Mina. It was refreshing to read about more seasoned, experienced characters than the usual eighteen-year-old debutantes. This book tackles complex elements that come with experience and age.
James Dale is a barrister in London. To James, everything is either right or wrong; there are no grey areas. James judges quickly and adheres to strict societal norms. Jame’s reputation is everything to him. James becomes enraged when he discovers the woman he is attracted to is embroiled in an ugly divorce. Mina’s reputation is obliterated, and James is her harshest critic.
Mina has led a complicated life. Mina has faced atrocities in her past and has overcome enormous odds. However, Mina’s sweet spirit shines brightly in this book. There are complicated circumstances involved in Mina’s divorce. She is ostracized and ridiculed. Mina gives up everything and places those she loves first. Mina has an indomitable spirit and a fierceness about her that is breathtaking.
The couple who are sworn enemies is thrown together when their children fall in love. James is adamantly against the marriage. He is cruel, but his motivation resonated with me; in the end, he is a father trying to protect his son. James fears for his son’s heart and reputation. James was especially harsh on Mina because he was jaded by his past and ignorant of Mina’s situation. Mina is unflappable and loyal to a fault; my heart went out to Mina and her plight. She was so alone and held a quiet grace.
The enemies-to-lovers theme is played out beautifully. The couple’s connection, understanding, and passion build at the perfect pace. Each character was charmingly well developed, and the storyline was complex yet entertaining. I loved that the couple was in their forties; their life experiences were organic and brought depth to the plot. The emotional growth of the characters throughout the entirety of the novel was exquisite.
Mr. Dale And The Divorcee is the first book in The Brazen Beauties series. These books follow a group of former soldiers that find love in unconventional ladies. The biggest strength of this story was the emotional depth of the main characters. The couple evolves into better versions of themselves throughout the journey of the book. Sophie Barnes has created a well-orchestrated, ingeniously written love story about flawed, broken people who find healing in the understanding power of love. This novel is messy, angsty, and full of sweet redemption! The epilogue was fantastic. This is an elegant, raw romance that will keep you wanting more.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: November 23, 2021