Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: The Lady of Bolton Hill

The Lady of Bolton Hill
by Elizabeth Camden
Purchase at Amazon, B&N, or CBD.

I signed up to be an influencer for this book based partly on the cover, and partly on the prologue that Elizabeth has posted on her website. What I read intrigued me, largely in part because it starts out in the man's POV. I'm a total sucker for that.

The rest of the book did not disappoint. An excellent debut from a wonderful new author and one I am very much looking forward to reading more from.

I'll let the back cover blurb speak for itself. You can read it at any of the links above. I wish you could see the back cover of the book. It's even more beautiful than the front.

Clara Endicott is a reporter, the daughter of a well-off, influential pastor in 1870's Baltimore. Danial Tremaine is the son of a steel worker killed in a horrible accident, bent on revenge against the mill owner. Wrong side of the tracks romance; done to death, right? Elizabeth makes it fresh!

There's a good suspense thread throughout, though it is light. This is a historical romance, not a suspense. The secondary character of Bane is very intriguing. Clara shows herself a true Christian, that she's not just talk.

The writing throughout is more formal than I'm used to seeing in modern historical romances. But it worked. Well. Very evocative of the year it takes place in. The speech patterns, while stilted to modern ears, are exactly the way the people spoke back then.

It also covers another aspect that many historical writers ignore: Unions. The unions of Baltimore play a crucial role in the plot. I was very pleasantly surprised. Unions have been in the news an awful lot this year.

The passion that binds Clara and Daniel together is music, specifically Chopin. I love it when historical authors use "contemporary" composers in their books.

There's also a strong thread of redemption throughout the story, and how God will go to whatever lengths it takes to rid us of our idols. Daniel's idols are his inventions, his patents, his thirst for revenge. Sometimes threads like that can be overdone or melodramatic, in my opinion. Not this one. The entire progression was believable and never once made Daniel seem less of a man. He remained committed to his goal throughout, and allowed God to change that goal. That's a real man!

I don't believe in rehashing the back cover copy or giving you a synopsis of the book. This is what I liked about it. This is what made it fresh for me. These are the things that stood out to me.

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