Monday, November 26, 2012

Review Whip Smart by Kit Brennan


I really love this cover! Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres and Kit has picked an interesting woman to profile in this book. Lola Montez lead an interesting life and in this book Kit tackles Lola's missing year in Spain.

Our story begins  in 1842 where  we meet Eliza Gilbert aka Lola Montez. Eliza finds her self in a precarious position. She has used all the charity available to her through distant relatives and her stepfather. Eliza also has an upcoming divorce trial she is desperate to escape, especially since she is being accused of adultery.

In the opening Chapters you might get the impression that Eliza is reckless and even selfish. Gifted with a nice figure and a sharp mind, Eliza walks into a semi-fashionable restaurant nearly penniless yet leaves with a very wealthy admirer. I was impressed by Eliza's ability to seduce and how she was willing to accept the course her life would take based on her decisions. She is nervous and anxious but also quite practical, she doesnt waste time bemoaning her fate.

While enjoying the benefits ( and jewelry) of her new lover, Eliza tries to figure out the next chapter of her life.

She decides to become an actress and finds a very expensive yet connected acting coach. This coach brings her tothe attention of Juan de Grimaldi who offers her a paid trip to Spain and an acting roll in a play in return for a few favors.

One of those favors is the seduction of a specific target: General Diego. Kit now known as Lola Montez jumps at the offer to escape the city mostly do to her lovers romantic build up of the country and the security of his gift of a substantial bank note in case trouble ensues.

Oh Boy does trouble ensue! As the full scope of the danger she is walking into she becomes nervous, also she has to deal with being virtually shunned by her fellow actors.

Then Lola falls in love with her target with disastrous results. I found Lola enjoyable but really rolled my eyes at some of her decisions. It wasn't easy for her to make her way in the world but she was very easily swayed by her passions.

I liked Kit's writing style especially since the novel is told in alternating chapters depicting past and present events. Though the events of her year are covered there is some question in the readers mind about her future which leads perfectly into a bit of historic research :)

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