Second in the trilogy of the sisters Susannah, Sylvie and Sabrina. Separated as young children when their mother was unjustly convicted of murdering their father, each book follows the events that reunite them. Sylvie is a premier ballerina, the toast of Paris, but when following a clue to England to find Susannah, she is robbed and ends up employed by Tom Shaughnessy, owner of the White Lily Theater, which is only for "gentlemen". This is a fun read.
Part fish out of water story, part glimpse into the world of the 19th century bawdy theatre, with Long's trademark wit and strong characters. A fine read.
Didn't work for me.
Following a similar style as Beauty and the Spy, Julie Anne Long unravels the love story too slowly in the second of the Holt Sisters trilogy. We take up the story with Sylvie who was raised French and has recently found out she may have a sister in England. She sneaks away from her possessive lover and hies off to London in search of her sister. Her search is thwarted by her sister's absence from her home and a highwayman who steals all her money. She's forced to work in a bawdy dancing hall until her sister returns home.
While the book had many interesting anecdotes about the dance hall, the various characters in the hall, and life as a dancing girl, the romance was flat. In the first 150 pages the hero and heroine barely even saw one another, much less had time to develop any romantic feelings.
Once they finally seem to be moving toward romance, it barrels forward at light speed. They barely speak for 200 pages and then they're in bed together. And of course there's the possessive lover who must be resolved.
The fact that these characters are not your typical blushing maiden and heroic aristocrat makes them more interesting. However, part of why we read historical romance is for those rigorous social rules of the time that prevented men and women from touching in public, from even kissing before marriage, and the tantalizing wickedness of those who do. Reading about a woman who leaves one lovers bed for another within a few weeks, well that isn't super sexy even in contemporary romance. It feels out of place in a historical romance and makes the heroine seem a little fickle.
Long writes a good story and her characters are appealing but her style doesn't work for me. If I didn't already own the third in the series, I'd probably just give up now.
One of the best books I have read.
Great book! Now I have to go back and read the first one!
Interestng setting and characters. Good book, with a strong storyline/
Just the name of this one makes you want to read it. The usual rake and the lovely maiden. The setting is unusual and enjoyable.
Second book in the Holt Sisters Trilogy...
Sylvie Lamoreux is the darling of the Paris ballet, renonwned for her beauty and passionate dedication to her art. But when a mysterious letter sends her across the English channel, she finds herself literally landing in the lap of one of London's most notorious men.
With a face that has charmed many a London lady, theater impressario Tom Shaughnessy is used to women falling into his arms. But from the moment this feisty young Frenchwoman leaps into his carriage, he senses he's met his rival in wit, daring...and sensuality.
When fate pulls Sylvie into the bawdy world of Tom's theater, a desire neither of them fully expects threatnes to upend their well-laid plans. But the past Sylvie never knew she had will force her to make a decision. She can either let it bring down the curtain on their fiery pas de deux...or trust this wicked man with her heart.
The characters in the books are believable for the time period. I enjoyed it. I did feel that it read a little slow. But do not let that stop you. I cannot wait to read the third book now.