An insatiable rake falls for an eccentric genius. Too bad she’s his innocent bride, and he has vowed never to touch her.

Harriet “Harry” Lovelock lives a life of the mind, and she knows she can prove a theorem that has baffled male mathematicians for two centuries. But her stepmother wants her married and the swirl of the Season saps Harry’s energy and distracts her from her work. She has to put an end to the tedium of balls. Now. Full stop.

Thomas Drake, the Earl Drake, devotes himself to the pleasures of the flesh, even as he wrestles with his own demons and intractable problems. He needs to marry wealth, but could he ever be satisfied by just one woman?

Written by Naomi

While I love reading romance in all its subgenres, historical romance has a special place in my heart. It might be the fact that there were very rigid social conventions and expectations that dictated how someone’s life was going to be from the moment they were born. I love reading about how women buck against those conventions and carve out their own lives. Convergence of Desire does this very well, which is why I enjoyed this book so much. It follows all the classic beats of a romance novel, but adds some fresh elements and manages to execute a classic trope (the marriage of convenience) in a way that makes it stand out.

I read this book almost a year ago, and I still think about it frequently. That is in large part due to the writing, which was tender, clever and beautiful. This was the author’s debut novel, which makes it even more impressive. The writing is not overly descriptive and keeps the story flowing at a steady pace. I felt truly immersed in Harry and Thomas’ love story. Most importantly, and what attracted me to the story in the first place, is Harry’s neurodivergence. I’m always looking for more autistic representation in my characters and this was well done.

Harriet, who goes by Harry, is a mathematical genius. She has devoted her life to mathematics and needs more time to spend on a theorem that has stumped mathematicians for centuries. She is trapped by her gender, which does not allow her to go to university or even publicly pursue mathematics. Thomas, the Earl Drake, is in need of funds to restore his impoverished estate. A marriage of convenience gives them both exactly what they need. Their marriage is quite unconventional, even for romance standards. Harry has no interest in anything but math (literally), and they establish from the outset that Thomas is free to entertain mistresses. This consensual non-monogamy suits their needs perfectly.

Still, that doesn’t mean they don’t respect each other, or that a friendship doesn’t develop between them. Thomas is constantly amazed by Harry’s intellect and her passion for math. He helps her slow down a bit and appreciate other aspects of life. On the other hand, Harry shows Thomas that there is more to life than gambling and that he can be more than just a (lovable) rake. During the course of their marriage they get to know one another, and their relationship slowly turns into a beautiful, supportive and accepting romantic partnership. Through all this, Harry’s personality and neurodivergent characteristics never change and it is never even implied that she should change.

While I definitely lead a very different life than the characters in Convergence of Desire, the story is very human and relatable. I recommend this book for readers who are looking for a well-written marriage of convenience story with a fresh spin put on it, and characters that you can root for, who bring out the best in each other.

To put it plainly, this is a beautiful love story.

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