Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Untitled Lady by Nicky Penttila

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Read: January 4, 2014

Not a traditional Regency. Shocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide which family she truly desires, the man of her heart or the people of her blood. An earl's second son, Nash chose a life of Trade over Society. When protest marches spread across Lancashire, the pressure on him grows. If he can't make both workers and manufacturers see reason he stands to lose everything: his business, his town, and his marriage. As Manchester simmers under the summer sun, the choices grow more stark for Maddie and Nash: Family or justice. Love or money. Life or death.

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Regency era romance is a difficult genre for me to get into. I don't avoid it, but it isn't something I'm naturally drawn to. I mean no offense, but traditional story lines lean toward the fluffy end of the spectrum and personally, I like books I can sink my teeth into. 

So why did I take a chance on Nicky Penttila's An Untitled Lady? Well, to be honest I nearly passed on the book, but something in the jacket description caught my eye. There was an obvious romantic aspect, but the vague references to social conflict sparked genuine interest and I couldn't help wondering how Penttila would bring both elements together in a single narrative. Curiosity piqued, I dived in.

Without getting into the plot, I loved how Penttila balanced the narrative by playing the weightier material off the lighter subject matter. The back and forth created nice contrast, but it also ensured the reader would never feel overwhelmed by content, something I appreciated as there is a lot of story within these pages. 

Penttila's cast was also very enjoyable. Universally dynamic, Penttila's characters are multilayered and fallible - they make mistakes, wrestle with indecision, feel love, pain, fear, pride and jealousy. It is pretty easy to discern the role each character plays in the greater story, but each feels authentically original and realistic. 

Long story short, I enjoyed this piece far more than I thought I would. A wonderfully unique narrative, An Untitled Lady is a perfect blend of complex emotional turmoil and convoluted political drama.

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She nodded, and at his signal the underservant opened the door for them. Maddie steeled her shoulders and stepped into her future.
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Check out all the stops on Nicky Penttila's An Untitled Lady Virtual Book Tour

Monday, January 6
Feature & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, January 7
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, January 8
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review & Giveaway at WTF Are You Reading?
Thursday, January 9
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Friday, January 10
Interview at Mina’s Bookshelf
Monday, January 13
Review at Reading the Ages
Tuesday, January 14
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, January 15
Review at She Is Too Fond of Books
Saturday, January 18
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, January 20
Review & Giveaway at Found Between the Covers
Tuesday, January 21
Review at To Read or Not to Read
Wednesday, January 22
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, January 24
Review at Turning the Pages
Monday, January 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Interview at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, January 28
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Interview at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, January 29
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, January 31
Interview at The Most Happy Reader

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