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Friday, November 17, 2017

Favorite Character Friday: Ivy Leighton... Historical Romance Superhero.

Favorite Character Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Adria's Musings & Reviews that gives readers a chance to celebrate their favorite characters, because with millions of books out there and more coming out every week, characters are like potato chips, you can't have just one.

How it works: Every week you pick one of your favorite characters and tell everyone WHY they're one of your favorite characters. Be sure to include the blurb and book cover as well! Share the love and maybe someone will read that same book and see why that character is one of your favorites! Unlike the Book Boyfriend meme (which was a great meme), your Favorite Character Fridays choice can be male or female!

Be sure to link back to Adria's Musings &Reviews and share the link via the linky widget below.

Favorite Character: Ivy Leighton

Book Title & Author: An Earl by Any Other Name by Lauren Smith

Why is this character your favorite (Feel free to include a favorite quote or scene)? I love Ivy, she’s a truly strong character but she’s also got a heart of gold. She’s kind, considerate, and intelligent with a steel spine. She doesn’t let anyone get away with treating her as a lesser being which was very clear early on in the story when Leo tried to “explain” why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote:
     “It is not a matter of belief, but truth. Women have not the sense, nor the education to vote. They would simply vote as their husbands, fathers, and brothers would demand. It wouldn’t change anything. Any man able to persuade a woman would merely double his own vote, rendering the entire process useless. It is pointless to entertain such a notion.” He sat back in his chair, delighted that he’d set the young lady straight on the matter.
      “No great change?” Ivy queried softly. Her full lips slid from a smile into a slight frown. The fire burning her ochre-colored eyes was the only warning that he had made a terrible mistake.

Of course, Ivy wasn’t going to let something like that go:
     “There is no scientific proof that men are stronger intellectually. If women were treated exactly the same as men, given the same opportunities, the same education…and most importantly, the same expectations, both behaviorally and intellectually, then we would not be relegated to a secondary existence.”
      Leo narrowed his eyes, clearly ready to do battle. “No woman of my acquaintance is qualified or even interested in voting. They understand it is up to their husbands, fathers, and brothers to make the decisions because they are better informed. It is what is best for everyone.”
      “Is it really what is best for everyone?” Ivy asked, her tone sweet, but he seemed to sense a poisonous layer to her tone because he shifted back in his seat. “Women are more intelligent than you give them credit.”
When he made a little scoffing noise, it took every ounce of her self-control not to reach across the table to grip his necktie and strangle him.
      “Do you think a wife, sister, or daughter would confess her true desires to any man when she only expects three outcomes—ridicule, abuse, or simply being ignored? That is our fate. You men are allowed to lose your tempers and declare your opinions with shouting and fists, but the moment a woman raises her voice or persists in stating her opinion, she is declared to be suffering from hysterics and is sent to an asylum where she is then truly driven mad. Do you believe women would own up to their need to be equals if they knew such a fate awaited them? If you do, you, my lord, are a fool.”

Ivy had a temper on her for sure but she was always in control of her arguments, her facts, her passionate fight for her right to vote. I loved that she could be counted on to explain her side of things without making anyone feel inferior, she wasn’t the type to talk down to Leo even though she knew he was wrong. She had a way of cutting right to the heart of the matter and speaking to him in a way that would help him understand why it was so important to her to have her and other women to have their independence.
      Ivy frowned deeply. Lord, getting him or any man to see light was an uphill battle she knew she would always face. “Imagine for a moment that your father was alive again and the restrictions he put on your life. Did you enjoy it?”
     Leo shuddered. “Of course not. The man stopped me at every turn. I had no ability to do anything that I…” His words died away as he seemed to see her point clearly for the first time.
      “Now you understand. It’s the same for women. We feel no less caged than men in such situations, yet it is our daily lot. Look at it from a slavery perspective. A hundred years ago, slavery was legal. Now it is not. Would you argue that we should never have ended slavery? Or say that it was not in man’s universal best interests to set him free? A woman without a say in her culture, her politics, her life, or her property is no better than a slave. The chains are invisible, but still they are there.”

She is a brilliant character and that credit definitely goes to the author for making her such a warrior without having to have a sword or any combat training whatsoever. There are so many wonderful lines in the book that my kindle had a hard time keeping up with all my highlights and annotations. I adore Ivy Leighton, she is the type of woman I would love to be friends with and learn from.

Book Cover/Blurb:
An earl in the streets, a rogue in the sheets . . .
Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life---until his father's death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.

Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it's her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she'll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who's looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can't stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.

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