Joanna Shupe has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors. Her fun and trope-y plot lines pull me in and her beautifully well-rounded characters keep me invested. A Notorious Vow was a fabulous marriage of convenience story with a deaf, reclusive hero and a painfully shy heroine.
Oliver was a wonderful hero. He was kind and thoughtful even when he didn’t really want to be kind and thoughtful. Watching him navigate his disability and come out of his comfortable shell for Christina was fascinating. Oliver’s combination of vulnerability and intelligence made for a unique hero dynamic.
While I don’t think everyone will connect with the heroine, I thought she was interesting and showed subtle character development. Christina is extremely shy and withdrawn to the point of being timid. I kept waiting for her to grow a spine of steel and stand up for herself. There was a moment for the heroine to shine at the end of the book but she didn’t go through a full personality transplant, which I actually found realistic. I like the idea that shy people don’t have to become crazy, outgoing people to grow personally.
The villains in this book were absurd in the best way. There were many of them and they were truly terrible. Their antics (well, their actual horrible actions) made it seem more like Oliver and Christina against the world and I loved it. I read this engaging novel in a single afternoon and I absolutely recommend it. This book stands completely alone but I am hoping we see Christina and Oliver in future novels.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**