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Here’s an accident every writer and publisher wants to have happen. I bought a book thinking it was the next in a series written by someone else.
This is humorous really because I’m usually a bit better with names; however, the cover looked right, the premise sounded a bit similar, the first page or so of writing seemed intense, fast, and humorous like the other book. It must be the same person. I bought the book and read it: AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY.
About five pages or so into the book, I became a little confuzzled. Why? Because when I looked at the author’s blurb, it said this was her debut novel. I said to myself, “No, it isn’t! She wrote that Smith book! I know she did! It’s why I bought this book!” Still, it niggled and finally I went in pursuit of the original book on my shelves and realized I am a bit of an idiot. Like a total and complete idiot. The author names weren’t even remotely the same. I’m surprised they were both female names honestly.
AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY is by Jillian Stone. It is set in 1887, and it put the HISTORICAL in historical romance. The detail is so rich, it’s not something that can be plucked out of its structure and launched elsewhere. No. The story and the structure are indelibly entwined. But this is not to suggest it’s boring (since I am afraid every time I drone on ad nauseum about the importance of historical accuracy and not wallpapering, this is what everyone’s thinking) because Ms. Stone certainly pushes the envelope of accuracy, possibility, and plausibility.
And before I forget: BEST. MOTHER. EVER. Seriously, I’m not kidding. This book should be read for the secondary character of the heroine’s mother alone. That woman is a piece of work. Absolutely hysterical. Not in a prim horrified Victorian way, but in a free-love, don’t-forget-to-protect-yourself-during-sex-dear kind of way. She’s horrifying.
Our heroine takes her mother in stride though, and she’s not a prim-and-proper missish creature either. She’s daring, but she’s reasonable about it. It feels plausible, as if these characters could have existed at some point.
The story keeps up a rather break-neck pace, but easy to follow and loathe to put down. It’s character-driven AND plot-driven AND tension-driven all rolled up at the same time. I honestly want to hunt down this woman and beg her to write a blog for us, but I couldn’t begin to decide what I’d want her to focus on most.
For those of you a bit leery of the “historical” aspect I’m so thrilled with, it has a bit of the shiny, fun, clever Steampunk elements that show up now and again in the Victorian era. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Stone does next with her books of Scotland Yard and what newfangled machine she will put to the test.
So let’s recap:
Is it historical? YES.
Is it romantic? YES, YES.
Is it sexy? Hells, yes.
Is it fun and edgy? Do bears poop in the woods?
Does it have steampunk for Mo? This woman has everything, man.
Will Q like it? He’d be crazy not to!
Emotional. Sexy. Actiony. And hilarious. What more are you wanting? Free? Well, you can’t have everything. Go buy this woman’s book so she’ll write more. Rafe is up next on the docket and I don’t want anything getting in the way of his debut. Yummo!
Read it, thank me, and then figure out how to learn her brilliance so you can implement her tricks into your story and make it better. We all aspire to be this detailed, emotionally structured, and well-paced. Well done debut, Ms. Stone!
And for full disclosure let me add: I bought my copy (as I said above, when I thought she was someone else!) and it's going on my keeper shelf. No one has compensated me for my unbiased opinion. :) I give it away for free.
Divulge: What's the happiest accident you've found in reading a book? Thought you were reading one novel and found out you were reading something else instead? Thought one thing was going to happen but the author surprised you in a good way? And if those questions don't work for you this Tuesday--what's next on your TBR pile. I could use some suggestions for next week!