As I already mentioned in another review, when I’m able to find something good – something really good – I have to go slow. Take my time.
Ever heard of those lucky people who pick up a book and read it in one sitting because it’s just too awesome? Well, polar opposite here. If I stumble over a hidden gem, chances are I need to make frequent pauses and turn my Kindle off, else I get overwhelmed.
…No, I don’t know why either.
This preamble is a clever way to introduce A Lady’s Revenge, written by Edie Cay. A few months ago, Edie asked me if I was interested in reviewing her book, and I’m so glad I said yes. Thank you for creating such a beautiful story!
Lady Lydia Somerset is an earl’s daughter. At the ripe age of twenty-five, she still wears the lavish gowns and dances the dainty steps of the haute ton as if she were pursuing a husband; but her goals are far more personal. Pugilism, England’s manliest pastime, is her only relief. Training in secret with a female boxer keeps her sane, but when her instructor is hired away by one of the men she is seeking to destroy, she is in a bind. Her new teacher, a former prizefighter with a ready joke and a quick wit might do more than just correct her technique.
When the Blood Is Up series, #1
Cover: Oh, I like it. It’s elegant but it doesn’t beat around the bushes. Yes, Regency, and yes, a lady who’s into boxing.
- Let’s play a game. If I were to tell you, London plus Regency era and ask you about the first words that come to mind, would they be pugilism and women? I doubt it. Despite its historical accuracy, the fact that back then women used to fight isn’t so widespread yet. I wasn’t aware of that myself, and that’s a shame. ALR is not only a refreshing take on historical fiction, it also taught me something new.
- Meet Lydia, the lady featured on the cover. She’s portrayed with great care, her reasons and motives revealed as the story advances. There are serious and upsetting themes addressed, while the romantic arc between her and John develops on a parallel track. As a couple-in-progress, they have their ups and downs, but misunderstandings are kept to a minimum. Yesss.
- This is a detail, maybe, but it’s very important to me: there are no unnecessary introductions of characters. You know those, ‘Jane Doe, YY years old, mother/daughter/heiress/teacher/whatever’? Forget them. Everyone is introduced in a direct way, and I can’t find enough ‘yes!’ in the world to express my joy. This is realism, folks. This is how good authors write their stories. When you’re thinking about your cousin, do you go ‘hey, I hope Jill’s doing well’ or ‘I hope Jill, my 36 years old cousin who moved to Texas after a messy divorce, is doing well’? Yeah.
- The prose is excellent, the flow impeccable. The double POV works just fine, as John’s parts balance Lydia’s out and vice versa. ALR is polished to the nth, too. I have to compliment Edie on her technique.
- Great cast of characters, from the despicable to the nice ones. They’re all alive, even those that don’t get much screen time, and they have their own personalities. Once again, that’s talent.
- Special mention goes to one of the themes, revenge. Lydia has solid reasons to do what she has to, and she doesn’t back down. I really appreciate the fact that love doesn’t turn her into a saint. First and foremost, she’s her own person.
- I’m hard pressed in finding flaws, I really am. Maybe I would get rid of some epithets here and there, but it’s such a minor occurrence that it goes unnoticed for the most part.
5 stars on GR and well-deserved. I’m looking forward to reading the second book of this series! 😀 (Also, please, keep me posted about the other two?)