Those of you who know me (either personally or through my blog (anuttyquilter.blogspot.com)) know that I have usually got my nose in a book and since learning to teach I have been able to access the wonderful website Netgalley which gives educators, professional bloggers and librarians the chance to read Advance Review Copies (ARCs) of upcoming books in various categories/genres. You request the books you are interested in and are either authorised or declined depending on your profile, your reviews, and the demographic requirements of the publisher.
Unlike many reviewers I do not include a précis of the novel (that is what the ‘blurb’ is for) but rather concentrate on my experience of the novel thereby giving an honest review.
As you know, I got behind in my blogging and have not posted many of my reviews here but that is going to change. Whenever I post a review on Netgalley it will also appear on my page at Goodreads, Amazon, The LibraryThing, Facebook, and here. However, any craft books read will be reviewed at anuttyquilter.blogspot.com.
The first book to be reviewed this year is:
Her birth betrayed her. Would he betray her too?
*Not a traditional Regency*
Shocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide which family she truly desires, the man of her heart or the people of her blood.
An earl's second son, Nash chose a life of Trade over Society. When protest marches spread across Lancashire, the pressure on him grows. If he can't make both workers and manufacturers see reason he stands to lose everything: his business, his town, and his marriage.
As Manchester simmers under the summer sin, the choices grow more stark for Maddie and Nash: family or justice, love or money, life or death.
Apart from the obvious outline; of a typical female trying to fight her station in life; this novel does have a decent plot line setting much of the action during the historical period of the Peterloo massacre which enhances the underling tones of change ad turmoil that each of the main characters is experiencing. (At the time of reading I did not realise this was a real event.) Interestingly, we see what happens to the second born son of nobility. How they have to forge their way in life, and the prejudices they ave to deal with.
The tale, is by its very nature, formulaic; and, of course, there is a villa (as there always s in these novels). But the setting, the characters and plot all mesh together creating an intriguing read.
Although the main characters are well developed, this reader had difficulty liking either of them. For most of the book these two were not even talking to each other!. Also there are do may minor characters which in itself was confusing. What I did enjoy was her participation n the 'massacre' itself which was nail bitingly good.
That said though, this reader did feel that the political aspects of the book took over from the romance aspect. If you want to write an historical book about the political aspects of the industrial revolution, write one. If you want to write an historical romance, then write one of those but putting both in the same book means that each aspect is not written to its full potential and thereby fives for a poorer read.
Some of the language used in the book clearly indicated that the author is an American. For instance when the hero was in the kitchen talking about supper there was a mention of biscuits; now was that a cookie biscuit or a roll/scone biscuit? The author states that the season was fall; well n the UK we call this autumn. While these errors do not really detract from the story, if you are going to use the UK as your base of operations please, please, please ensure that you use the correct terminology and spelling.
Overall the book was an intriguing read but if you are looking for a fluffy historical romance then this is not the book for you.
Full disclosure; ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I rated this book 3 stars on Netgalley and 'It was ok' on Amazon.com (3 stars) and Goodreads.com (2 stars)