Reviews are a mixed bag, I find, but occasionally you stumble over something so unexpectedly nice you go back again to check you weren’t dreaming. My publishers have been running a 12 Days of Christmas offer and BELLA’S BETROTHAL was featured. I had a wee look at the extract and discovered the publishers, or Rochelle Weber, have added Rochelle’s wonderful Five Star review to the page. I’ve copied it below.
Rochelle Weber, Roses and Thorns Reviews, 17th November 2015
I normally avoid historical romances. I absolutely hate anachronisms. There’s nothing worse than reading an historical book littered with modern idiom. When I expressed this opinion in an online discussion, Ms. Stenhouse challenged me to find an anachronism or modern idiom in her book, Bella’s Betrothal. I found one semi-questionable line that was so iffy, I didn’t even bookmark it.
Another of my pet peeves is the misuse of homonyms. One of the most confusing pairs is affect/effect. Rarely do I see the word effect used correctly as a verb. Yet, at twenty-seven percent of the way into the book, Charles says, “Give me the pen. I caused the damage, and I will effect a repair.” I almost fell out of my chair when I saw Ms. Stenhouse using “effect” correctly. Bravo! I have found a Regency author who not only avoids anachronisms, but knows how to write English grammatically! There must be something special about the Scottish school system, since that, I believe is where J. K. Rowling was also educated.
In addition to the historical consistency and good grammar, the characters are well-drawn and the action starts on page one and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. Bella is never quite certain of Charles’s feelings for her, and Direlton and his men hover over them like the flaming sword of Damocles. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to more accurate, well-written, page-burning historical fiction from Ms. Stenhouse.
Winter Wonder will resume on Monday.