Reviewers oft assess books in quite different ways, and that's why reviews can be awfully confusing for readers to determine whether a book is to their tastes! When I review books I rate them on entertainment value, quality of prose, natural flow in dialogue, whether characters are fully fledged, no plot-holes, and above all else, good sense of time and place of the era depicted.
Reviewed by Francine:
What an enchanting and unusual love story this is, and made all the more enjoyable because it is atypical! Here we have a marchioness who is willing to contravene the expected social mores of the haut monde, and indeed she takes control at a crisis moment in which fellow females would never soil their hands to see others replenished in a time of need. But Isabel is not altogether as one would imagine, and whilst good fortune has come her way in one instance, in another it has caused her great pain. All too well aware memories of former affairs of the heart can be as painful as when first experienced, hers are far from fully vanquished. And despite another man teases her mercilessly, his interest in her evident, life soon becomes somewhat heated below stairs as Isabel and the hero rally to provide sustenance for her uncle’s guests.
Aside from the romance, which in itself develops in the strangest of circumstances, there are elements of the period many Regency fans are familiar with in general, but few authors will venture to. Thus Ms Baxter touches on the subject of slavery, and Isabel’s discovery of a unique business premises in London brings to light a delicacy that is today a familiar sight in almost every town in the Western world, hence she has created – as far as I am aware – an original Regency plot-line. Well done Ms Baxter with this debut novel.