"Dalliances & Devotion," by Felicia Grossman
A change in course can be refreshing…when it’s done together.
After two disastrous marriages, beauty columnist Amalia Truitt’s life is finally her own—well, it will be if she can get herself back to Delaware and demand access to her share of the Truitt family fortune. After all, the charity she’s organized for women who can’t afford their own divorces won’t fund itself.
However, not everyone wants her to reach her destination. When her family learns she’s been receiving anonymous death threats, a solo journey is out of the question.
Enter David Zisskind, the ragtag-peddler-turned-soldier whose heart Amalia broke years ago. He’s a Pinkerton now, and the promotion he craves depends on protecting his long-lost love on the unexpectedly treacherous journey across Pennsylvania.
That their physical connection has endured the test of time (and then some) is problematic, to say the least.
In very close quarters, with danger lurking around every curve, with each kiss and illicit touch, the wrongs of the past are righted. But David can’t weather another rejection, especially with his career in jeopardy. And Amalia can’t possibly take a lover, never mind another husband…not with so much depending on her repaired reputation. Not when she’s hurt David—her David—so badly before.
Publisher’s Note: Dalliances & Devotion contains content that some readers may find challenging, including PTSD, depression, war, sibling death and antisemitism.
Felicia Grossman is the singular reason I, as a non-historical romance junkie, have developed a new appreciation for a genre I had all but written off. Her debut Appetites & Vices (which I reviewed here!) was the first historical romance my contemporary-loving heart adored. So, needless to say, I was champing at the bit for the next in The Pruitts series from Carina Press—Dalliances & Devotion. And just as her first book left me swooning and in love, so did this one.
Grossman tackles her genre with a unique flair and a steady, gifted touch. There’s nothing about her writing I’d call predictable or dry. She delves into the time period in which her stories are based and paints a picture so vivid and beautiful—yet somehow perfectly balanced so as not to steal the show from the plot itself—that I get utterly lost within the historic tapestry. She draws in the most minute details—clothing, gadgets, customs, even accurate locales—and allows the reader to travel effortlessly back in time.
But it isn’t just Grossman’s world-building that deserves a spotlight. I absolutely adore her characterization, and her grasp on pacing and plot structure make her writing an enjoyable and effortless treat. Amalia isn’t your typical historic heroine. She’s twice divorced and financially independent. She’s also delightfully spunky and has a got-get-’em attitude that made me grin. Then there’s David. swoon That man is just… yeah. There almost aren’t the words for him. He’s one of those book boyfriends you just wanna put in your pocket and take with you everywhere. Thankfully, this is available in ebook, so I can!
I would highly recommend this to all historical romance readers out there. It isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill example of the genre. It has diverse characters—both of the main characters are Jewish!—and it does a fantastic job of dropping the reader into the late nineteenth century.
So, what are you waiting for? Dalliances & Devotion is available for your immediate reading pleasure!
Until next time,