A Royal Likeness

Christine Trent, Kensington, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7582-3858-0
Trent's newest is a complicated historical that covers too much territory. When French-born Marguerite Ashby, a famous doll maker, loses her husband in turn of the 19th-century London in an attack on her London shop by an angry mob seething with anti-French sentiments, she flees to the country but returns to work for Madame Tussaud, who runs a waxworks exhibit. Tussaud is brilliant, but at the mercy of her predatory financial partner, Philipsthal, who schemes to make Marguerite his wife. When he dies, Marguerite opens a new waxworks and is enlisted by the crown for a crucial bit of espionage, creating decoys for the battle of Trafalgar. Marguerite is also torn between two men, Brax and Hastings, one of whom harbors a dangerous secret. Marguerite is a strong heroine, and following her adventures is enjoyable, but the overload of background before the actual tale begins slows the pace and compromises the tension. While Marguerite's rival wooers make for fairly decent candidates for her affections, there is no heat in their courtships. Readers interested n the battle of Trafalgar will find this retelling compelling, but the rest is run of the mill. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-7582-6821-1
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