Set in England at the time of the French Revolution, a misplaced countess Bettina is struggling to fit in and make a life for herself while also hiding from those who would like to see her lose her head in France. The plot of this book, noble woman betrayed and stranded with nothing but the clothes on her back, has admittedly been done before. What makes this version interesting and fresh are the colorful descriptions and characters. Bettina’s struggles to fit in among the lower classes and earn a living are at times both funny and pitiful. Her friends in Cornwall are endearing and cheeky making them immensely likeable. Ms. Lewis has managed to fill this volume to bursting with mystery, danger, and love; a true historical romance. The ending could stand alone, but has left me interested to read more and hopeful for a sequel.
The story flows well with few unnecessary tangents and/or side stories. The writing and editing are both good, without notable grammatical problems or lapses in tense. The dialogue between characters flows smoothly and comfortably, helping to put the reader into the story. Not being a historian, I cannot speak to the actual truth to time and place. However, on the whole the story felt true to place and time, with perhaps a few artistic licenses taken in the development of Bettina’s romance. The cover design is lovely and helps establish some visual imagery for the story setting.
Reviewed by Brandy Strake
Layered Pages Review Team Co-Leader