The Haberdashers Series
In the early 1800s a group of young female friends form a club that they named The Haberdashers.Â They liked the sound of the name and found it fitting that Haberdashers make accessories for men.Â They were just coming to the realization that “accessories for men” is all they were supposed to become.Â They decided to teach themselves skills that the boys got to learn because it sounded like more fun.
Book 1 – Trials of Artemis
Jacqueline (Jack) hates balls so she sneaks into her host’s library because she’s heard that he has some wonderful volumes in Greek.Â She is accosted by a man who was planning on meeting a wealthy widow there.Â They are found and then forced to marry.Â I hate the whole concept of women being compromised by being found alone with a man.Â Who are these people who imagine that the first thing you do when you meet with a stranger is to tear off your clothes and have sex?Â It annoys me.
The nice thing about this book is that it allows Jack to keep being herself even though she is thrown into a marriage that she doesn’t want.Â Her background reading military history comes in handy when she has to fight against some smugglers.
Book 2 – Athena’s Ordeal
This series does a really good job of maintaining a story through all the books. Characters from each book seamlessly move into the next story.
In this book, another of the Haberdashers, Sabre, comes to her brother’s house. Her brother is a spymaster and fixer for the government. A Duke is coming to consult with her brother to fix a problem. He mistakes Sabre for her brother’s mistress and offers to pay her more than she is currently getting. Instead of being horribly insulted she schemes to follow him to his house and help him with his problems.
This is a pretty unrealistic story. She shows up at his house and just stays there. Jumping from book 1 where a few minutes in a library means marriage to book 2 where she just hangs out is jarring. It was entertaining though.
Book 3 – Fates for Apate
The third member of the Haberdashers, George, is supposedly visiting a sick aunt in Scotland. Instead she is in Vienna on a mission for Robert, Sabre’s spymaster brother. When she gets too close to a source in the Prussian delegation, she needs to run back to England with him in tow to save them. Events in this book overlap the end of book 2 so you get to see the same events play out from different points of view.
This book was a disappointment. The main character in this one is Robert the spymaster. He meets an American who is part of a shipping family. The problem is that Robert is just a horrible person. He’s awful in the other books but I figured in his own book you’d see some softer side. Nope. Still an unmitigated jerk. I didn’t buy the romance in this one at all.
Book 5 – Taming Chiron
This book features Sabre’s other brother Charlie. He’s nice. He likes horses. He’s such a nice guy that the hosts of a house party pair him with the least interesting woman there. He is supposed to be nice to her to make sure she has a good time. They end up liking each other of course.
Book 6 – Pheme’s Regret
This was a premise that I haven’t read before. The female main character started a rumor years ago that completely ruined the life of a man. He had to leave England and live with relatives in France. He started his whole life over. Now she has business in France and needs a lawyer. She doesn’t realize that the man she hired is the same person she once ruined. This book is about forgiveness. I feel like it might have been a bit too easy but it was still an entertaining read.
One thing that bothered me about this series is that the main characters of the first three books, especially Sabre, got a bit obnoxious and overbearing in the last three. They didn’t like people pushing them around and then they did it to other women. It seemed a bit out of character.
[…] the film version of Cats, sharing the contrary opinion that it’s delightful. Heather reviewed The Haberdashers series of adventurous romances set in 19th-century England. Tina didn’t like two books (Black […]
Interesting series. I hadn’t heard of these books — thanks!