The Q (Book Review)

You’ll love it if
you love the Victorian Era and the publishing biz—and romance

This book review contains affiliate links. Here’s my disclosure policy.

The Q

By Beth Brower

Plot & Pacing
Writing Craft
Moral Value

This book wins the award for Cutest Romance That Isn’t Cutesie

It was a slow start, but once I got my mental bearings, I was hooked.

The reason that this book started a TAD slow for me is because the author throws a lot at you right away. There’s a deep cast of secondary characters, and there are businesses, locations, and other things that can cause some early “who’s who?-type” confusion. But just push through that, and you’ll be glad you did.

Set in a fictional European city in the late 1800s, the story opens with Quincy St. Claire, owner of The Q, a newspaper that consists entirely of reader-submitted questions. Kind of like the Classifieds, but anything goes. She’s a brilliant businesswoman with a fiercely independent spirit. Quincy doesn’t need anyone or anything in her life except The Q. It’s her meat and drink.

She works for her uncle, who owns The Q. When he dies, his will states that Quincy can’t inherit The Q unless she meets a set of 12 requirements. The catch? She can’t know what the requirements are. The only person who knows (and who will determine if she meets them) is The Q’s lawyer, Mr. Arch.

Quincy and Arch are tossed together a lot due to this “requirement business,” and they combine like oil and water. Their tart banter is a highlight of this book. Ever so slowly, Arch gets Quincey to open up, and she does NOT want to do this. She prefers accounts, data, and machinery. People are way too unpredictable—not a smart investment.

So, you can see where it’s going, but the journey is worth every page. This is a LONG 500+ page book, and Beth Brower doesn’t rush Quincy’s transformation. Thus, we as readers do feel like we’ve made a big investment in this St. Claire woman, and we want to see how things turn out for her.

Overall, this was a great book that I’d recommend to anyone who loves Jane Austen but with way more sass.


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