Note: This ARC was provided by Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alexandra "Alex" Petrocelli is in Bramfell after being awarded the Brockenridge Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship and is thrilled to have the opportunity to find answers to her many questions regarding the poet Artemesia and her supposed love affair with Lady Melissa Dawson. But Alex finds herself distracted by Camille "Cam" Carter, who brings about feelings within Alex that confuse and frustrate her. With answers that she wants eluding her and an attraction to Cam that appears to be one-sided, Alex needs to open her eyes and her heart to the very real possibility that everything she's looking for is right before her.
Romance by the Book is a standalone F/F contemporary romance by author Jo Victor and isn't your run-of-the-mill love story, thanks to a mystery that I was trying to solve along with the lead characters, Alex Petrocelli and Cam Carter. I was intrigued by Artemesia's story and wondered just how real her supposed romantic relationship with Lady Melissa Dawson was. I figured out what was happening before Alex or Cam did, but then they were somewhat distracted by their own back and forth flirtation. I wasn't sure, though, why Alex was so irritated by Cam in the beginning, and for a good while after their initial meeting. Maybe it was a case of the two of them being opposites and what I saw as Cam's charm coming off as cockiness as far as Alex was concerned and everything Cam did just rubbed scholarly Alex the wrong way.
Jo Victor's writing was witty and engaging, creating a story about two separate sets of women and two separate sets of love stories in two different eras but in the same enchanting setting. Alex was intelligent but a tad clueless, looking everywhere for answers and failing to see what was right before her very eyes. I liked Cam and how she was trying to live her life only to have love come in the form of a woman who, on the outside, was too much like her ex-girlfriend Rosamund. I must say that two supporting characters who held their own and caught my attention as much as the lead characters were Nicola and Mrs. Tate. These were two wise women who helped Alex make sense of the things she was trying to figure out. With a strong cast of characters and an inviting story, Romance by the Book is a worthwhile read and gets 4.5 stars. ♥
Release Date: 15 June 2015
Date Read: 07 June 2015
Learn more about Jo Victor here.