Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; Portrait of a Forbidden Love by Bronwyn Scott. This is the first book in the whole new; The Rebellious Sisterhood series I can’t wait to share it with you all.
This book has been sitting on my ‘to finally post my review‘ list for such a long time, I think we all have a list like that don’t we? Ah, well better late then never, right?
About the Book
Portrait of a Forbidden Love by Bronwyn Scott
Series: The Rebellious Sisterhood #1
Genre: Regency, Historical Romance
Publisher: Mills and Boon/Harlequin Books
The Earl’s heir
And the rebel artist
Artist Artemisia Stansfield has four months to prove herself to the Royal Academy of Arts. When she finds out that aristocratic art critic Darius Rutherford has been snooping in her studio, she’s furious! Sparks of anger turn into flames of desire, but one lapse in judgment could give Darius all the fuel he needs to ruin her, as a lady and as an artist! Unless she trusts him enough to take the risk…
From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.
The Rebellious Sisterhood
Female artists…taking their world by storm!
Purchase Link: Portrait Of A Forbidden Love, Amazon UK
Portrait of a Forbidden Love is the first book in the whole new; The Rebellious Sisterhood series and oh, boy what a great start to what I can see is going to be a wonderfully romantic and fun series. I always get very excited when I pick up a whole new Bronwyn Scott book, she is one of my whole time favourite historical romance authors. Scott is a bright light that sparkles in a competitive genre and she never fails to entertain and make Regency her own.
Artemisia is an independent, determined, intelligent, courageous, gifted, stubborn and incredibly strong woman who knows what she wants and fights for it, she refuses to allow the pompous men on the board of the Royal Academy of Arts to stand in the way of her dream to be a recognised and respected artist in her own right. She pushes for equality and to prove that she is should be admitted to the Academy on her skill alone and not by her sex. I really like Artemisia she is revolutionary, she is years ahead of her time in the way she thinks and acts and she is constantly pushing for her right to be the person she wants to be and for the rights of those young girls who will be coming after her.
The Academy has given her four months to create a new collection which will be assessed whether she can be admitted into the prestigious Academy. So she sets off to the coast with her sister in the hope of finding new inspiration and perspective which will blow the academy’s board socks off, in hot pursuit is dashing, cynical Darius Rutherford, a reputed art critic who has been sent by the Academy to put the cat amongst the pigeons, he has the task of spying on Artemisia to see what she is working on so he can report back that she is as they expected; not worthy.
As we all know, life doesn’t exactly go as planned and soon Artemisia and Darius form an unlikely friendship which quickly turns into much more. She instantly knows why he is there and is on guard it’s lovely to see her defences slowly comes down as he shows her the respect she is due. Whereas she brings out the human side of Darius, he is so wrapped in his misery that he has sort of forgotten about his ability and his love of art, it’s so heart-warming to see that spark light up what was a very stoic man.
I will admit that I wasn’t taken with Darius at first, it took me a good portion of the first half of the book to be charmed by him and to be perfectly honest I don’t think even at the end I wasn’t as enthralled by him as I have been other heroes by Bronwyn Scott. I am not saying he isn’t a wonderful character, there are quite a few misconceptions and a few misunderstandings which were resolved but still, I did think there was something rather staid about him, something which didn’t ignite the spark, and yet I enjoyed the journey between him and Artemisia.
I liked the relationship between Artemisia and Darius, even though there is a spark between them their romance isn’t straightforward, it’s a blossoming romance that makes them work hard for that much sought after happily ever after and I liked that, I liked that their relationship doesn’t go smoothly and that there are hurdles which they both have to jump to get to the finish line.
What I particularly liked about Portrait of a Forbidden Love is that even though this is essentially a romance, I love that Scott showed off Artemisia’s artistic ability and her knowledge of the arts, but also it shows just how much of a struggle it was for women like Artemisia during the regency period who wanted nothing more than to follow their hearts and be an artist.
Portrait of a Forbidden Love is a beautifully written, articulate and hugely enjoyable love story, with two very different individuals who work hard for their happily ever after. I liked the faster pacing, which was a little bit of surprise for me as I am so used to Bronwyn Scott steadily building up the tension and slowly dropping breadcrumbs for the reader to follow which ends in an enlightening love story. Not here, oh no! This has a very different feel to her previous work – believe me I have read a lot of Bronwyn Scott’s books – and I like it far better, I can’t explain it but it feels very grown-up (I know that sounds a bit odd).
I love how easily the story flows and how incredibly fast you become fully transported into the creative and glittery world which Scott has gifted us with. That stereotypical Regency glitter which we are all used to is secondary to the ambitious and intriguing plot as soon as I started reading, I was instantly lost in the story
Portrait of a Forbidden Love is an exceptionally good romance, with strong and determined characters, picturesque and atmospheric settings – each scene is rich in historical detail, Scott captured the senses with her flawless writing and research I could almost taste the salty sea air and feel the chemistry building around our couple, at times it was sexy and lustful and other times it was fun and playful.
I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series, I think it is going to go from strength to strength. I do love a good old historical romance with a gutsy and clever heroine and a hero who is well and truly put in his place by the said woman. This is a great quick read, it’s full of idyllic charm and I know that any reader who loves their Regency romance then this is the book for you.
About the Author
Bronwyn Scott is the author of over 50 books. Her 2018 novella, “Dancing with the Duke’s Heir” was a RITA finalist. She loves history and is always looking forward to the next story.
She also enjoys talking with other writers and readers about books they like and the writing process. Readers can visit her at her Facebook page at @Bronwynwrites and at her blog at http://www.bronwynswriting.blogspot.com