Love historical romance? Well, you've come to the right place! This is a blog for avid readers (and authors) of historical romance.
I started it to help other readers find the good ones...the keepers. In addition to authors guest blogging, I will share my reviews of those I've rated 4 and 5 stars, my favorite authors, my "best" lists and occasionally a special post. Come join us!
Saturday, September 5, 2015
New Review: Christine Monson’s SURRENDER THE NIGHT – Wonderful, Witty Romance & a Handsome, Hungarian Prince in Italy, Switzerland and Hungary!
Set in 1847, beginning in
Rhode Island and New York but then going to Italy, Switzerland and Hungary,
this is the story of Eliza Hilliard, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Eliza
is a talented artist who sees much, partly because she was left lame from a
riding accident as a child and understands pain. When Princess Elizabeth
(Bette) Von Schmerling comes to America seeking a wife for her nephew, Prince
Miklos Sztarai of Hungary, Eliza’s mother leaps at the offer made to her
By proxy, Eliza is to marry a
man she has never met, one she envisions as fat and blustering. She is willing
to do it because the terms of the contract provide she can get out of the
marriage if she wishes when she meets the prince and will get a large
settlement—and the marriage can’t be consummated without mutual assent. Happy
with her books and her art, Eliza jumps at the chance to be free from her
In Northern Italy, Eliza
finally meets her new husband where he is staying at Lake Como. A handsome,
golden-haired prince, he is also a former colonel in the Hungarian army and orders
her about while holding her at arm’s distance.
Monson brings great humor and
witticisms to the fore with Eliza’s musings about her husband. Eliza is only 16
but canny and wise. The dialog is witty, often brilliant. Neither Eliza nor
Miklos wants the marriage. He is skeptical about Eliza’s reasons for entering
the marriage and until he figures it out, he will not let her go, but he will
not consummate the marriage either. Eliza is happy about that since she wants
Monson’s presentation of the
budding respect and affection of these two prickly people is brilliant. I just
loved it. And the secondary characters and historical figures are so well done,
providing a rich tapestry of historical detail. I relish a romance where the
author takes the time (and the pages) to slowly develop a believable
relationship. The secondary characters are well drawn, including Miklos’
mistress, a great beauty who wonders at the appeal of the skinny American girl.
As they travel through
Europe, Eliza discovers Miklos’ secrets and finally has to admit she loves him.
And then revolution erupts and they are caught up in the fight for Hungary's independence. The story reflects great research into the history of Hungary. Historical figures join the fictional characters for some exciting scenes.
It's a wonderful read and highly recommended. Oh, and yes, it's a bodice ripper but they are married.