The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George is a fantastic start to the Doves of New York series by Harper St. George. With lots of teases between the main characters, this slow burn historical romance was entertaining from start to finish. Both Cora and Leo balance each other perfectly, and St. George created a plot that put equal emphasis on social commentary and finding happiness. With many tie-ins to the Gilded Age Heiresses series, Leo and Cora’s romance is enhanced by having read the previous series but can easily be enjoyed without. 

…he’d finally concluded that if marriage was inevitable, why not choose an American?

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The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George

The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George

The Doves of New York #1
April 23, 2024

Read this if you want:

  • Historical romances that highlight social issues
  • Slow burns that have plenty of teases
  • Family shenanigans

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Starting tomorrow, it would be the two of them against the world. He barely knew her, but already he was prepared to defend her at all costs if it came to it. She was giving him and his brother a future; he couldn’t do any less for her.

Illegitimate heirs on the edge of New York society, Cora Dove and her sisters find themselves with an ultimatum: find and marry titled men elsewhere to avoid scandal, or risk losing their inheritance. So off to London Cora, her sisters, and her mother go. Cora, who just wants access to her money, is perfectly fine with a loveless marriage that will quickly end in divorce. But then she meets Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth, and Cora realizes that maybe a little passion between a husband and wife isn’t the end of the world. But Devonworth has been burned before and intends to keep his passion trained on politics, despite how tempting Cora may be. But their best laid plans are soon out the window, and both Cora and Leo turn out to be exactly what the other person needed. 

This slow burn historical romance was an utterly enjoyable read, featuring a passionate romance against all odds, great tension throughout the plot, and some absolutely fantastic supporting characters whom I can’t wait to see in more prominent roles in future books in this series. 

I loved the interaction between Leo and Cora, and it was evident they would have great chemistry right from their very first meeting. St. George made Leo a fully-realized main character; he wasn’t just an Earl. He was a protector looking out for his younger brother, a passionate politician fighting for equality, and a competent athlete. Surprisingly, though, Leo didn’t seem too perfect or like he was too much. He definitely had his flaws, but his well-rounded character came off as realistic and the perfect complement to Cora. 

Likewise, Cora was a fun character to follow. She was strong-willed and headstrong, not afraid to pursue her passions as well as her freedom. A lot of her passion and bravery stemmed from her protectiveness of her sisters; Cora didn’t hesitate to do hard things and make tough decisions when she knew her family’s futures were at stake. She really couldn’t have been more perfect for Leo. 

I always find Harper St. George’s writing easy to follow and get lost in. She paints such clear pictures for her scenes, and Leo and Cora’s physical relationship was easy to imagine as it played out on the page. While this book is the start of a new series, St. George did a great job at still tying it back to her Gilded Age Heiresses series; readers can, however, thoroughly enjoy Cora and Leo with or without reading the previous series. 

Overall, The Stranger I Wed was an enjoyable, lower drama, slow burn historical romance with so much more between the main characters than just falling in love. The cultural significance of this time period shines through the story, creating a truly stand-out historical romance. 

It quickly became apparent that her husband was more than a little obsessed with his role in government. He could barely breathe, but it didn’t matter. He’d die for this. For her taste on his tongue.

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