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Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy:

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
From Amazon
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

My Thoughts:

I have never read anything by Dorothy Love. The covers really did not appeal to me, nor did the synopsis from the back cover. A historical story set during the Victorian Era reminds me of the most famous Victorian writer: Arthur Conan Doyle.

Love does a great job with her top notch writing. I really felt the setting came to life with Love’s attention to detail. The historical detail gripped my attention, and it carried back to my love of the Victorian era, which is popular in Sherlock Holmes’ world. The individual character’s dialogue matched the characters and their social status. The intermingling of the prose versus the amount of dialogue were even matched and allowed me to immerse myself completely.

While the writing captured my attention, the suspense part had me frustrated. As an avid reader of a number of suspense books, I felt that the suspense was low key and could use more attention to what makes a suspense aspect of the book. I don’t mean to be mean, but a suspense started the book, then India is whisked away to an island with her attorney, and they spend time falling in love with each other while India is shunned by a number of servants who work on the island. The case is solved, and India is kidnapped back to the island with a death threat over her head. The threatee approaches and is arrested within minutes. Kind of weird for me.

The romance was also way too fast for my taste too. I really had a hard time believing that India and her powerful attorney, Philip Sinclair would fall in love and be happy by the end of the book. The tension moves too fast, not that I didn’t follow the storyline because I did, but the tension really did not glue the plot together.

Overall, Dorothy Love’s A Respectable Actress had great writing but lacked the suspense and romance that I am used to in a novel. While I could see the action occurring in my head and enjoyed the story, I really wished the story had more meat to the conflict.

I received a complimentary copy of A Respectable Actress from Thomas Nelson Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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