Review: Oppressed and Empowered: The Viscount’s Capable Wife

Title: Oppressed and Empowered: The Viscount’s Capable Wife
Author: Bree Wolf
Publisher: WOLF Publishing
Release Date: December 2018
Length: 340 pages
Series?: Love’s Second Chance: Tales of Damsels and Knights #5
Genre: Historical, Romance

A woman with the desire to heal. A lord with a shameful secret. And a contract that binds them together.

Wishing to follow in her father’s footsteps, EVELYN PROCTEN has always tended to those in need. Despite social convention, the only future Evelyn can see for herself is that of a doctor…until she is called to Farnworth Manor to tend to the young viscount’s sister, who finds herself unmarried and with child.
Unfortunately, her stay at Farnworth Manor once again throws Evelyn into the path of Lord Ashwood, a man she has loved from a distance for many years. A man who has never looked at her twice. A man who disapproves of her professional ambition.

As far as society is concerned, RICHARD DAVENPORT, VISCOUNT ASHWOOD, is a cold-hearted and uncaring man. Although he does not overly care for society’s opinion of him, he cannot deny that there is truth in their assessment. Nevertheless, Richard knows his duty and would never act against propriety.
However, the whispers retreat into the background when his unmarried sister reveals to him that she is with child. Determined to maintain her secret, Richard keeps her locked away at Farnworth Manor. Still, in order to ensure his sister’s well-being, he is forced to call upon the one woman who has always been able to melt the ice from his heart.

Will he be able to resist her? Or will he succumb to her tender heart and share with her the one secret that has always determined his life?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

This book in the series was prefaced with a note from the author about writing about a character with Asperger’s. I thought that was good to include, as well as the information included there. People with Asperger’s have difficulty reading facial and social cues as well as interpreting gestures. In the novel, this character is portrayed as significantly socially isolated, even from his own loving family. To everyone, he is just a hard man, cold, heartless.

In the novel, it contrasts the phenomenon we still see today in the difficulty and struggles women have to be viewed on the same plane as their male counterpart. Evelyn has worked alongside her father her whole life, learning doctoring from him. His new apprentice is far lesser experienced and lacking in the field, but sought out above and seen superior to Evelyn and her skillset. And she is a phenomenal doctor that no one will ever acknowledge. Not even the man who’s haunted her dreams since the last house call at the manor.

Richard Davenport is the Viscount Ashwood, and all see him as uncaring, unfeeling. He follows the rules to the T. Even if it means pain for those he loves. After his pregnant-with-no-husband sister faints, Richard calls for Dr. Procten, who in turn shows up with his new apprentice and daughter, Evelyn. He had seen her before when his father died and his mother took to her bed. She stayed for weeks and cared for the dowager viscountess. And she has been a woman he avoided while she was there. He…felt things. As it turns out, Dr. Procten and the late viscount had an arrangement for their children. Now that it is made known, they are set to choose to either honor it…or not. As much as Richard hates what he feels his father saw him as, he is honor-bound to uphold the contract.

Eventually Richard is able to overcome some of the barriers of his condition with Evelyn’s help. And even with a pregnant-with-no-husband sister who would be a pariah if it ever were to be known, Richard and Evelyn both do their best to find the right solution for Claudia, who is withering under Richard’s house arrest. She is a social butterfly; she thrives on people. There is clearly only one course of action here that will protect Claudia, and it is a cause of issue between them.

There is drama of all sorts. Family drama. Personal drama. Relationship drama. An almost mad-man semi-fiance. A mysterious attempted murder. A fight for life. Intrigue! But little romance or steam. I did like the playful way Evelyn and Richard are able to build in their marriage. 


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