Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Luccia reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s review is from team member Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

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Luccia chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

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Here is her review.

When I chose An independent woman to read and review for Rosie’s Review Team, I was thrilled even before I started reading it, because when I read the blurb I realized it’s my favourite type of book. I enjoy reading neo-Victorian novels, so although I’m easy to please with this genre, it’s also not easy to surprise me with something new.

Well, I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised, because I found an entertaining, moving, exciting, and romantic novel, set in Victorian England, which I would highly recommend.

The novel is beautifully written with prose that flows smoothly, enticing the reader to turn the pages. There are just enough descriptive elements to submerge the reader comfortably in Victorian England, moving effortlessly from foggy, filthy London, to the tranquil countryside.

Philomena’s intriguing character keeps the reader connected to the story, feeling for her plight from the first sentence, as she creeps up the twisted stairs and flees from London, to the last line.

I loved the first chapters, when she was disguised as a young boy in order to escape from London, and her ‘chance’ arrival at the country estate on Christmas Eve after a fateful train accident.

We also feel we get to know the other characters such as the mysterious Lord Thatcham, his mother, the demanding Dowager Lady Thatcham, her frivolous yet charming daughter, Selena, and the kind Mrs. Rivers and Mrs. Bramble. There’s naturally a despicable villain, who causes havoc, and whose real motives are not revealed until the end, keeping the plot moving forward with mysterious twists and surprises.

It has many gothic elements which will remind readers of Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and Oliver Twist, three of my favourite novels. Firstly, the mansion where the action takes place, Thatcham Hall, becomes a character, with its servants’ quarters, main living areas, bedrooms, and the dark, forbidden wings. The reader will also find a gloomy widower, a wife deceased in unclear circumstances, a rich and lonely child, an exploited and abused child, and a well-read governess, among others, all leading to an eventful and enjoyable read.

Frances Evesham shows expert knowledge of Victorian England, which she transmits wrapped up in an enjoyable parcel of mystery, action, and romance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Crystin reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s book review comes from team member Crystin, she blogs at http://crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com

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Crystin chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

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Here is her review.

  • Title: An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham
  • Genre: Historical Romance – Mystery Romance

Orphaned Philomena is fleeing London to not only escape her tormentor, Joseph, but to start a new life for herself. Unfortunately, fate has other ideas when a train crash places her under the protection of the darkly attractive Hugh, Lord Thatcham. It doesn’t help that she first meets Lord Thatcham disguised as a boy …

An Independent Woman is a typical historical romance – very fun, light, and easy to read. The mystery aspects of the story were also done very well, infusing the story with suspense and tension. I also really enjoyed the fact that the romance stayed clean and focused on romance – not sex.

I’d recommend this to fans of historical romance – especially Victorian or Regency romances, as well as romantic mysteries.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Suraya, find her at http://www.thestorymint.com

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Suraya chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

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Here is the review.

An Independent Woman

by Frances Eversham

Four and half stars

When I end a book I am always interested in how I feel after I have read the last word.

This first reaction tells me whether or not I have had a satisfying reader experience. It is key to whether or not I will read another of the author’s books.

At the end of An Independent Woman I found myself smiling; satisfied with the experience I have just had.

An Independent Woman tells the story of Philomena who is married illegally to a villain after her father gambled away her inheritance and forced her to marry a stranger with cold green eyes. She was a child and the memory lingered as a haunting dream. The dream takes shape in reality when she meets Lord Thatcham, they fall in love and Muldrow re-enters her life.

I will say no more about the plot as I think readers will enjoy following it as it twists and turns. It has all the ingredients of an absorbing historical Romance…an individual intent on wreaking evil, a virtuous maiden and a heroic and wealthy Lord. Lord Thatcham reminded me of Austen’s Darcy and it was no surprise to read that the author is an Austen fan.

However, this story is no copy of any other I have read. The skilful story telling is economic and has excellent pace without leaving the reader puzzled or confused due to too little description. Nor does it ramble.

The only point I would make was we could have done with fewer rhetorical questions. They started to whine in my head as Philomena weighed up her options and as Lord Thatcham wondered what Philomena thought and felt.

Apart from that the narrative voice was authentic. For example, ‘a woman of low virtue would travel alone’ is superb.

The truly satisfying thing about any read is to find there are no events or objects that have no bearing on the story’s outcome. For example a brooch is introduced into the story. By the time it happened I knew it would relate to the story in some way as I had come to expect that all elements to the story related to events either in the past or the future. That is probably the most satisfying aspect of the novel for me.

I will leave others to read and enjoy.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Elizabeth reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Elizabeth, she blogs at http://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

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Elizabeth chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

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Here is her review.

An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

From the first few lines of, “An Independent Woman,” I knew that I would enjoy this book. The scene of a poor area of London is set, the clothing is of the Victorian era and Philomena, the heroine has our sympathy as she is already threatened by an evil foe.

The fast moving plot involves Philomena’s need to escape. Disguising herself and taking only a tiny portrait of an unknown woman, she boards one of the open-topped railway carriages bound for a new life in Bristol. But there is a dramatic change of circumstances when the train crashes in the Berkshire countryside. Philomena finds herself in the upstairs, downstairs world of Lord Thatcham, tempted by the hint of passion but convinced that she must escape once again.

The tortured soul of Hugh, Lord Thatcham is complex yet believable. His feelings of guilt and duty are at odds with his need for love and his interest in, “modern,” technology. Philomena also has a dark secret which she believes denies her any chance of happiness. Yet they share a common enemy who could unite them or dash their hopes for ever.

This beautifully composed story contains all the ingredients for a successful historical romance, including separation and misunderstanding. The minor characters are warm or evil and the historical details accurate and particularly interesting. A thoroughly good read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com