A Heart's Rebellion is a delightful read of the Regency era. It does start a little for me but picks up speed quarter of the way through and doesn't slow down anymore. What I love is how the author captures the time period, Beautiful cover, Lovely characters and Great Storyline.
Superb Regency romance! Axtell catapulted me back to a Regency drawing room with her incredible historical voice. I just had to savour every word in order to enjoy my reading experience to the fullest. From dialogue to the detailed customs of the early 1800s I was in a near reader swoon most of the book! As captivating as reading about that time period is though, I'd have made a horrible Regency miss. Argh to the restrictions! What a futile outlook for young women of that time. And it's that subject that Axtell addresses in her latest historical novel.
At first Jessamine seemed too shallow for me - especially for a heroine. But as I read I became steeped in the mores of the time and began to understand her better. Honestly, if your only hope for a future is to make a good marriage and that's all that everyone around you focuses on what are you to do when your love is betrayed? Rebellion that's what. And wait -- what if it wasn't really love but a girlish infatuation that coloured every aspect of your life for years? Well -- you can imagine the churning emotions.
There were times I just wanted to shake Jessamine and times I wanted to do bodily harm to a certain gentleman. And times when I screamed warnings (only naturally they went unheeded causing me no end of reader angst) so you might say I found this book an emotional roller coaster of a read. :-)
If you love Regency romance you are going to love this book!!!
Oh -- and bonus for Moonlight Masquerade fans -- you'll be able to get reacquainted with a number of characters though A Heart's Rebellion reads fine as a standalone.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
I was drawn to this book largely because of the beautiful cover. I've read and enjoyed Ruth Axtell's last two novels previous to this one so that swayed me as well even though I was less enthusiastic about the write up for Heart's Rebellion. Fans of Regency-era historical fiction will be drawn to the descriptions of life in England during that time for people included in the Haut Ton, the uppercrust of fashionable society. Ms. Axtell has included some famous people in this story and her descriptions of fashion and mansions and peculiar social behaviours, such as not wearing spectacles in public even if you need them really lend a depth and realism to the story.
Some readers may find the plot somewhat slow moving and the main characters are not necessarily overly likeable to my mind in the beginning, but it all comes around in the end. The two books in this series so far can stand alone and I loved the first book in the series, Moonlight Masquerade. This was not my favourite story by this author, but I will continue to be a fan.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Sequel to her Moonlight Masquerade, Ruth Axtell writes about a young woman come to London for her first season. After years of pining for her best friend's brother, even coming to an understanding with him, he has married another, and the London season seems the best way to show him that she does not need him. Being a good girl has utterly failed to deliver her heart's desires, and so she throws off the mantle of a vicar's daughter and adopts the airs of society's femmes fatales. While Lancelot Marfleet, the first eligible young man she meets, would be suitable for her, his profession in the church and interests so similar to her father's only set her more against him. In her rebelliousness and pursuit of the world, will she go so far as to lose everything?
As it is said, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned - and Jessamine, spurned for a wealthy, French beauty, is simmering in it. Her frequently bad attitude and childish actions made it really hard to care for her - especially when she deliberately abandons the faith and principles in which she was brought up. It is one thing when a non-christian lives in the way of the world - that is to be expected. It is much harder to watch a girl who knows better pursue the world out of anger-born rebellion. As I have never been particularly inclined to rebelliousness myself, I just could not connect with her.
However, while Jessamine is frustrating, Lancelot makes the story worth it. Though imperfect, he has a passion for Christ and tries to keep Him foremost in his thoughts and actions. While he is not sure that he even really likes Jessamine, he is attracted to her, and he pays close enough attention to see glimpses of the girl she has buried under the coquette - a garden-loving vicar's daughter with whom he could easily fall in love. He cares enough about to her as a human being to tell her - no matter how little she wants to hear it - that (essentially) she is being a flirtatious idiot and apt to ruin her life. While that honesty gets him in trouble, it shows that he actually cares, unlike most of London society.
Had I realized A Heart's Rebellion was the second novel in a series following Moonlight Masquerade, I would have made an effort to read that one first, since I prefer to read books in order. However, in spite of its sequel status, I had no trouble following the plot, nor suffered any confusion from what must have been events from the earlier book. It summarizes some details from Masquerade to clarify a few things, but it works quite well as a stand alone novel.
I do not think I could read about Jessamine's folly again - it is too frustrating watching her destroy herself. However, I did enjoy the author's inclusion of historical details, and I would like to try some of her other novels. I learned a little more about London seasons - I had always assumed everyone was presented to the queen. Apparently not! I also liked the botany aspect of the story - given that it is a subject that interests me, I enjoyed learning how the field was growing so much during that era, while new lands were being explored and samples brought back and studied. 3.5 stars
Thank you Revell for providing a free copy for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
Jessamine Barry, the daughter of a vicar, comes out to London from the countryside to participate in her coming out. She experienced heartbreak and wants to know she is desirable to gentlemen. She meets Lancelot Marfleet, the second son of a baronet and a vicar himself. He starts showing an interest in her but rejects his advances. She gets involved with a man with a questionable reputation and by the time she realizes it, it may be too late to return the interest of Lancelot.
It took me a long time to get into the book because for the first half or more I did not like Jessamine. I found her to be immature, childish and self-centered. She only cared about herself and I thought Lancelot should've given up on her, especially with the way she treated him. She was still pining after a man who was married and was now expecting a child with his wife and then she resolved to break other men's hearts because she had hers broken. How she behaved and thought made me not like her. However, towards the end of the book when she faced disgrace, I felt compassion towards her and felt myself starting to like her a little bit.
I also didn't like the whole "coming out" thing but I know that this was how it was done back in the time period the book was set in. I felt like the girls were just prizes to be won and I'm glad they don't still do it today.
Because the book is based in a historical setting (London 1815), I had to look up some of the words because I wasn't familiar with them so someone who doesn't like historical fiction may not understand it or want to take the time to learn what the words mean. But for those who like historical fiction, they may like this book and it is meant to be a romance novel so stay away from it if you don't like romance.