Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean: My Review

Check out my review of Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean, her latest historical romance in the Hell’s Belles series.

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Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean is her latest historical romance in the Hell's Belles series. Check out the book review by She Reads Romance Books.

by Sarah MacLean

Category: Historical Romance
Tags: Historical, Strong Heroine, Alpha Male, Suspense, Opposites Attract
Series: Hell’s Belles
Published August 2022
Amazon Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★½
Boyfriend Rating: 💍💍💍💍💍

Heartbreaker Summary:

Raised among London’s most notorious thugs, a twist of fate landed Adelaide Frampton in the ballrooms of Mayfair, where she masquerades as a quiet wallflower without anyone recognizing that she’s the Matchbreaker- using her superior skills as a thief to help brides avoid the altar.

Henry, Duke of Clayborn, has spent a lifetime living in perfection. He has no time for the salacious gossip that arises every time the Matchbreaker ends another groom. 

His own reputation is impeccable—and the last thing he needs is a frustrating, fascinating woman discovering the truth of his past, or the secrets he holds close.

When the two find themselves on a journey across Britain to stop a wedding, it’s impossible for Clayborn to resist this woman who both frustrates and fascinates him.

But late-night carriage rides make for delicious danger, and soon Adelaide is uncovering Clayborn’s truths, throwing his well-laid plans into chaos, and threatening to steal his heavily guarded heart.

Heartbreaker Review:

Why have I waited this long to read Sarah MacLean?! She knocked my socks off with this sweeping historical romance and I cannot wait to read more!

Sarah MacLean has been a star in historical romance and now I understand why.

Heartbreaker was not only such a well-written book with great pacing and storytelling, but its characters totally stole the show.

Heartbreaker is actually book two in the Hell’s Belles series and though I haven’t yet read book one, I felt like I could easily follow the story and read this as a standalone.

This is the story of Adalaide Frampton, a woman who joined the Hell’s Belles five years ago after escaping South London where she grew up a famous pickpocket and daughter of the infamous leader of The Bully Boys gang.

As one of the Hell’s Belles, she works to protect women and children and society as a whole from abuses of power, most often from the men of aristocracy. As the Matchbreaker, she also helps women escape unsuitable marriage matches.

In Heartbreaker, she sets off to find a woman who’s set to marry the Duke of Clayborn’s brother only to find herself traveling with the Duke of Clayborn himself to find the pair because she has something in her possession that he wants back.

While the underlying story about the mission the Helle’s Belles are trying to accomplish in this book was interesting, I found it took a backseat to the relationship between Adalaide and Henry which was the standout to this historical romance.

Their overall love story has quite the turnaround as the book only spanned a short period of time (about two weeks?) but I was totally onboard.

Adalaide and Henry have actually watched each other from afar for a lot longer so there was this sense that they “knew” each other which led more credibility to them falling in love so quickly.

I loved Adalaide as I adore strong heroines. She is a woman who had to look out for herself from a very young age and always saw any relationship as a transaction. It’s why she never trusted her part in the Hell’s Belles and why she couldn’t trust that Henry would want her.

“It’s odd. Logically, I know that I have a place with the Belles. They’re my crew, my family. And yet sometimes in my heart I fear that at any moment, they might decide I am not worth their time or energy. As though they might remember I do not below.”

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean p. 313

Henry however was the classic Duke in every sense of the word. He exuded arrogance (in a good way), confidence and respect but also showed his perceptive and understanding side behind closed doors with Adalaide.

I also have such a soft spot for men who have a way with words.

“You want me.” Want was too small a word. Four letters where he needed forty thousand. “I do.”

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean p. 269

“You may have all that is mine if only you wish it. All I wish is a future that we might together call ours. Whatever she wanted. He would give it to her.”

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean p. 319

And boy, did this man have a way with words that totally seduced Adalaide and me if I’m being honest.  This book had such steamy moments that were fire!

“Now you see…nothing about what we do together is ever going to be simple. If we did this a thousand times…it would never be simple….It will always be earth-shattering,” he promised. “Shall I show you?” “Yes, Please.”

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean p. 271

The best part of this book for me was the private moments they shared together once their journey to find his brother and his intended was interrupted. I could just reread those chapters over and over again.

That’s not to say that the rest of the story wasn’t great but MacLean totally swept me away with their romance and I loved it.

I highly recommend this if you love historical romance novels, strong heroines and dashing dukes and stories with strong female friendships and a bit of suspense.

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Check out She Reads Romance Books' review of Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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