A Notorious Vow: The Four Hundred Series

A Notorious Vow: The Four Hundred Series

by Joanna Shupe

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Joanna Shupe returns to New York City’s Gilded Age, where fortunes and reputations are gained and lost with ease—and love can blossom from the most unlikely charade

With the fate of her disgraced family resting on her shoulders, Lady Christina Barclay has arrived in New York City from London to quickly secure a wealthy husband. But when her parents settle on an intolerable suitor, Christina turns to her reclusive neighbor, a darkly handsome and utterly compelling inventor, for help.

Oliver Hawkes reluctantly agrees to a platonic marriage . . . with his own condition: The marriage must end after one year. Not only does Oliver face challenges that are certain to make life as his wife difficult, but more importantly, he refuses to be distracted from his life’s work—the development of a revolutionary device that could transform thousands of lives, including his own.

Much to his surprise, his bride is more beguiling than he imagined. When temptation burns hot between them, they realize they must overcome their own secrets and doubts, and every effort to undermine their marriage, because one year can never be enough.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062678928
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Series: The Four Hundred Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 72,282
File size: 860 KB

About the Author

Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. Since then, her books have appeared on numerous yearly “best of” lists, including Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Kobo and BookPage. She lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. 

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A Notorious Vow: The Four Hundred Series 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
I think I started reading this author with her debut in 2015 – and I’ve tried not to miss anything from her pen since. In this story, historic romance is a bit different from the norm – as we have moved London born ladies to the colonies, currently in the growth spurt that characterized the American rise on the landscape, with untold wealth, frenzied construction and a desperate determination by some to hold onto their own version of “society’. Christina Barclay is possessed of a title, but little else, with a father who is an inveterate gambler – in fact, their last pennies were spent on passage to New York where Christina is to make a match, a profitable match that will restore the family coffers. Unhappy with her father’s choice of husband, and uncomfortable with the thought of society and facing all those people, this young woman feels as if there are no options. She’s desperately shy and prefers quiet walks in the neighbors garden, with only the company of the reclusive Oliver to hand. He’s not prone to ask her too much, or to share of himself – and that suits her just fine. Oliver is reclusive and removed from the world others wish him to inhabit. As a wealthy and single male, he should be the toast of the town – but he’s got no time, nor patience for the trappings and folderol of the ‘in crowd’. His hearing loss makes crowds difficult, and take away from his true purpose – the one he spends hours on – inventing an aid for hearing loss – and bringing help to many. His only actual diversion in his self-imposed remove is the young English girl who walks in his garden – and her tales of the man she is to marry. She’s disturbed by the marriage – the man is four times her age and not attractive to her in the least – while she can’t expect ‘much’ from an arranged marriage, she doesn’t want to live in her married life as she has under her parent’s roof. But soon – this won’t be an issue as she and Oliver are discovered – alone and unchaperoned. Ruination for her – unless Oliver marries her. He’s not so put off by the idea – and decides that it will solve his friend’s problem – and he’s got money to burn. What could go wrong when he promises to leave her with a healthy settlement after a year? These two are so well suited and Shupe brings in a wealthy man who isn’t developing property – and has eschewed the ‘social niceties’ to invent something to help others as well as himself – hearing loss in itself is isolating – perhaps even more so before the modern developments. And Christina is shy, true, but her determination to make this a real marriage – far beyond the guidelines of friendship that respects his privacy that Oliver expects. It is she that has to become the ‘alpha’ as their relationship is built – finding how to push and prod him into situations and revelations that he’d perhaps not want. But her true strength comes when her family makes a play for Oliver’s money, and she has to fight for her husband and her marriage against them. A true test of her growth that shows just how badly she wants to make a life with this man. Fortunately, Oliver has started to see that he’s desiring more than just friendship from Christina – and realizes that their early days were signs for so much more. Lovely characters, solid descriptions and a conflict that showed both Oliver and Christina at their very best, together – the story was a wonderful breath of fresh air – with plenty of moments to intrigue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story, definitely must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read and enjoyed all of Shupe's previous books, but this one left me disappointed. As I read I wondered if she wrote it years ago before she mastered her writing skills, or if someone else wrote it. It was a chore to finish. She is one of my top three favorite romance writers and I wait for each new release. I hope her next book is better.
TobiForgetHousework More than 1 year ago
Oh my word! How I fell in love with Christina and Oliver. Their romance from the first meeting had me swept away in their world. Oliver has hardened him self to love. A recluse from society after people treating him horribly due to his deafness. Christina doesn't like crowds or mingling in society. Her parents have caused shame and it all falls on Christina when she's at events to try to find the "best" prospect for a husband. She's a trooper but she hides as much as she can. I abhor her parents! The arseholes that that are. Though there are many obstacles thrown in their path Oliver and Christina grow closer and more determined to be together. If you enjoy a wonderful and unique historical romance I definitely think you should read A Notorious Vow!
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Christina and Oliver's story! Christina needs help from having to marry a horrible man. She runs to her neighbor, Oliver, to get help and ends up having to marry him when pressured by her parents. They agree to remain married for one year and then to get a divorce. Oliver agrees to make sure that Christina can live independently when the time comes. What Oliver didn't count on, was falling for his newly acquired wife. Can he convince Christina to forget their original plans? I loved watching these two together. The gruff scientist and the meek debutant. I loved how they complemented each other. Oliver begins to open up to Christina and she finds the strength to stnad up for herself and Oliver. I'm loving this series and hope that Shupe plans for more stories to be included in it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed it! Well written and sexy. Can't wait for more from Shupe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
but the execution fell short. Lack of attention to motivation and detailed character development left this reader anxious for the end and wishing for bettet pacing. I will hope her next offering is better.
angcartwright More than 1 year ago
This was a solid 3 stars for me - it started out encouraging. Oliver Hawkes, the mysterious and reclusive next door neighbor, is an unusual Historical Romance hero in that he is deaf - not a very typical hero. However, of course, he is suspicious of society as they shunned him when he returned from school despite his great fortune. When Christina is found on his property they develop a sweet friendship. Christina is significantly oppressed and abused by her parents and Oliver develops a protectiveness toward her and helps her develop a backbone. My only complaints about this book are, first, while Oliver and Christina’s relationship development is sweet, Christina is so meek and downtrodden it is hard to like her. She improves for sure, but during the book, I had to take breaks to read because the story did not grip me to the extent that I couldn’t put it down. There is also something about this sweet relationship that I found myself wincing when a graphic mention would be made of some sexual reference or when Oliver would graphically describe what he felt like or wanted to do. It was out of place in the story and just didn’t flow. I loved the first in this series and I somehow skipped the second but definitely want to back and read it. This is definitely a standalone - the characters of the first book make an appearance in this one but it is not necessary at all to have read the first one as the stories are really unrelated. This is s sweet story if you are looking for sweet. Thank you to Avon for granting me the opportunity to read the DRC.
perriknows More than 1 year ago
What a powerful book. A Gilded Age look at handicaps, both physical and emotional. I wish I could shout it to the roof tops that everyone should read A Notorious Vow. Lady Christina Barclay has been under her parent’s thumbs since she was born. Growing up rather well off, until her parents squander the inheritance they’ve been left. The family heads to the United States and an American cousin’s home, fleeing creditors. Christina becomes her parent’s best chance to revive their finances. Walking in her cousin’s neighbors secluded garden each day, keeps Christina sane. Unfortunately, she has a mishap and meets the reclusive neighbor, Oliver Hawkes. Once Oliver finds out about Christina’s parent’s scheme, he reluctantly decides to agree to a marriage, saving Christina from the fate her parents planned for her. Oliver is a brilliant and enormously rich man but has chosen to stay out of society because of his physical handicap. He is deaf but hasn’t always been. Christina is a quiet, introspective woman, tired of trying to ‘fit’ into society. Both are looking for a way to manage their lives without giving themselves up and neither believes they deserve the other. Will they realize they are exactly what the other needs? Enter the cousin who wants what Oliver has and Christina’s parents looking to line their pockets. Add in a good dose of Gilded Age politics, graft, and corruption, and you have a story that touches your heart, and makes you fume with anger regarding the treatment people who are ‘different’ must endure. Ms. Shupe has done her homework regarding ‘handicaps’ in the Gilded Age. Women were sent to asylums for what we now think of as frivolous reasons. Men were as well. If you weren’t like everyone else, you must be an imbecile! I loved reading the history of ASL and schools for the deaf. Excellent information.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I had really enjoyed the other two books in this series and loved the premise of this one, so I was exited to get to it. I loved Christina and Oliver. They’re both such good people who have dealt with people treating them horribly. She’s sweet and he’s sort of gruff, but together they click and it was fantastic to see them learn to be in a trusting, loving relationship. There are several other characters and most of them needed a junk punch. Plot wise, there was a lot of push and pull and at times, the hot and cold got to be ridiculous. The outside conflict is constant and I really just wanted more of the two of them getting to know each other. Overall, it was a quick read with characters I really loved. I can’t wait to read the next one. **Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**