November 24, 2015

Fresh from the Bookshelf: A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love {Book Review}

A famous and beautiful actress fighting to uphold her un-spotted reputation after unjustly being accused of murder. A widowed lawyer trying to save his family plantation, who is hired to defend her. Throw in the Georgia low-country and the beautiful islands near Savannah set in the late 1800's and you have a making for a beautiful romantic mystery in the book A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love.

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A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love, is a book set in the 19th-century post civil-war era about India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, and Philip Sinclair, a widowed lawyer--the best one in Savannah, GA. Philip and India meet after India is falsely accused of murdering her co-star during their stage production. One of her loyal benefactors, pays for India to be defended by Philip. Philip agrees because of the potential clients he will reap from a successful defense in this highly publicized case...and he needs the money since he's trying to pump life into his family's worn down plantation on St. Simon's Island. 

In order to protect India from the mobs of people trying to get her in town, Philip gets the judge to let him take India home with him until her trial date. What follows is a rich story of mystery, lost loves, and oh so many secrets. Secrets which when revealed could very well hold the key to India's freedom.

What Are My Thoughts?

At first, I wasn't sure how I would like it. It didn't sound highly thrilling, and Dorothy Love isn't an author I am very familiar with. But I adore St. Simon's Island and the Georgia low country and was interested in the location the book takes place in. I was surprised that I really was enthralled from the get-go! There was no lag time to set up the story--something that makes my eyes glaze over at times. I liked that the plot started immediately!

I think the plot was interesting and multi-faceted. There was a primary story, but then a background storyline continuing throughout the plot--coming to a climax when both plots join each other! I think India is a good character, though I probably would have enjoyed a bit more about her backstory. It's scattered here and there, but you sort of have to piece it together. The same is true for Phillip. But it doesn't really take away from the story...

I was bummed to learn this book has characters in it from an earlier book The Bracelet by Dorothy Love. I hate reading books out of order...but I don't think it would have made one iota of difference in the story because they weren't even really supporting characters in this book. (But it did make me want to make sure I snag The Bracelet so I can read about the characters in more detail.)

Who was my favorite character? India. I thought her story of being an actress in a time when they were considered to be less than respectable was creative. She was spunky and fun. I enjoyed watching her story play out to the very end.

I didn't hate the book. I liked the book. I thought it was a good book. It has suspense and mystery. But, I think it was really just average for me personally. I don't know that I would recommend it to my friends as being a "you have to read this", but if they asked I would tell them it was a good story. Would I read a book by Dorothy Love again? Yes. But I probably won't pick this one up again because I didn't LOVE it.
A Respectable Actress
by Dorothy Love
ISBN #9781401687595
Available on Paperback and Kindle

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