The Gentleman's Gambit By Evie Dunmore Book Review

The Gentlemans Gambit By Evie Dunmore Book Review

The Gentleman’s Gambit is the long-awaited last book in Evie Dunmore’s League Of Extraordinary Women series. Like all the others that came before it, it’s a pure, beautiful, sexy romance with a lens of intriguing feminism over the top.

I found this last book so captivating. The characters were mesmerising with their strengths and weaknesses. Following Catriona’s struggles as a neurodiverse woman in Victorian England from a modern viewpoint was saddening and exhilarating. Elias as well was a nuanced character caught between worlds, between pride and nationalism.

The Gentleman’s Gambit Plot

Deeply introverted Catriona lives for her work at Oxford and her fight for women’s suffrage. She dreams of romance, too, but since all her attempts at love have ended badly, she now keeps her desires firmly locked inside her head–until she climbs out of a Scottish loch after a good swim and finds herself rather exposed to her new colleague.

Elias Khoury has wheedled his way into Professor Campbell’s circle under false pretenses: he did not come to Oxford to classify ancient artefacts, he is determined to take them back to his homeland in the Middle East. Winning Catriona’s favor could be the key to his success. Unfortunately, seducing the coolly intense lady scholar quickly becomes a mission in itself and his well-laid plans are in danger of derailing…

Forced into close proximity in Oxford’s hallowed halls, two very different people have to face the fact that they might just be a perfect match. Soon, a risky new game begins that asks Catriona one more time to put her heart and wildest dreams at stake.

The Gentleman’s Gambit Book Review

All of Dunmore’s books have the women’s suffrage centre stage, but Portrait of a Scotsman and Gentleman’s Gambit both delved deeper into Socialism for the first one and the problematic imperialism of the British Empire in the next one. This secondary battle is shown through the mission of Elias to liberate his homeland’s stolen antifaces. Dunmore must be a master researcher, as like her Suffrage history, this weaving of another world is rich and super interesting.

The scandalous romance between Elias and Caitriona was quite slow building for me. And then they plunged into it and boy did everything heat up. He was sweet and sexy and Dunmore even managed to make jealousy look hot (who am I!). Their elicit affair is elevated by their growing feelings for each other. There’s a notable scene in the kitchen that I found beautiful because of the chaos and emotions and the spiciness of the sex. If only we could all find someone who understands us as well as Elias understands Catriona.

Another part I enjoyed was the reckoning of their suffrage work. Most of the other books show the quickening of the march toward women’s liberation. There’s lots of talk and petitioning in them, but it’s this book where we get to see their hard work paid off.

The ending especially was very poignant for me. It was the ending of the serious, but also the triumph of women’s battles through history. It made me feel even more passionate and grateful to have the right to vote thanks to women like these four.

The Gentleman’s Gambit Rating

5/5

The Gentleman’s Gambit is a beautiful book full of exquisite imagery and poignant emotions. I loved the character of Elias and the introduction of the Far East into the series, and I enjoyed the serious character of Catriona way more than I anticipated. Definitely adding it to my favourite books of 2023 shelf.

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