As heiress to the famous Laurent Fashion Dolls business, Marguerite Ashby’s future seems secure. But France still seethes with violence in the wake of the Revolution. And when Marguerite’s husband Nicholas is killed during a riot at their shop, she leaves home vowing never to return. Instead, the young widow travels to Edinburgh and joins her old friend, Marie Tussaud, who has established a touring wax exhibition.
Under the great Tussaud’s patient instruction, Marguerite learns to
mold wax into stunningly lifelike creations. When Prime Minister William
Pitt commissions a wax figure of military hero Admiral Nelson,
Marguerite becomes immersed in a dangerous adventure—and earns the
admiration of two very different men. And as Britain battles to
overthrow Napoleon and flush out spies against the Crown, Marguerite
will find her own loyalties, and her heart, under fire from all sides.
With wit, flair, and a masterful eye for telling details, Christine
Trent brings one of history’s most fascinating eras to vibrant life in
an unforgettable story of desire, ambition, treachery, and courage.
I was impressed with Christine Trent's debut The Queen's Dollmaker in early 2010. The novel appealed to me because it featured a strong, independent heroine with the unique employment of being an artist and entrepreneur in dollmaking. I am equally as impressed with Trent's sophomore release A Royal Likeness. Marguerite is a sympathetic character and it was a great pleasure to read about her escapades. I had planned on reading the book over a couple days but once I started reading I couldn't put it down and stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to finish it!!
A Royal Likeness combines history of the Napoleonic Era, including fascinating details about the Battle of Trafalgar, an abundance of adventure and intrigue, and a good dose of romantic interest. The novel stands on its own, although I do recommend reading The Queen's Dollmaker first, to better understand the enmity between Marguerite and her husband's mother and brother, Maude and Nathaniel Ashby, two characters easy to dislike intensely. I also recommend reading The Queen's Dollmaker so you can meet the hero and heroine of that novel, Claudette and William, who appear in A Royal Likeness.
Marguerite's naivety and preoccupation with overcoming the grief from the loss of her husband gets her into a bit of trouble, ok more than bit, but she soon learns to become independent and face challenges with courage and determination. I would like to mention the hijinks Maurguerite gets up to, but I think this would spoil the story a bit so I will refrain. The author gives this character more adventure than she ever expected, when all she was trying to do was survive the death of her beloved husband.
For me, Christine Trent's novels stand out from others through attention to the details. Beyond the historical content, I
learned things about ships I never knew before and the process of wax modeling was fascinating. I highly recommend this novel if you love quality historical fiction, adventure and intrigue, and original characters. Christine Trent's next novel is The Prince's Pavilion, to be released in 2012 by Kensington Books.
My Rating: 4.5
Christine Trent is generously providing a copy of A Royal Likeness for giveaway. To enter please leave a comment on this post. The contest is open to International entries.
One entry for leaving a comment on this post. Please include your email address.
One entry if you are a Follower of this blog.
Two entries if you post about this contest on your own blog.
Please include how many entries you have in your comment on this post (if you post about this contest on your blog please include the link in your comment on this post).
The entry deadline is Friday, January 21st 11:59 PM MST.
The winner will be announced Saturday, January 22nd.
Christine Trent's Upcoming Sophomore Release - A Royal Likeness
The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent