17 May 2017

DARK WHISKY ROAD by Jen Black



Amazon UK £1.20
Amazon US $1.50
Amazon CA n/a

Romance
Victorian
England

“For an ex-duchess, obeying orders proves difficult. But Melanie has little choice. Scarred and cheated out of her widow's entitlement, she accepts a post as housekeeper in remote Gavington House where widowed Lord Jarrow rears his young daughter. He has secrets, and Mel's curiosity will not let her rest until she has discovered what it is that occupies both him and his friend Mangerton. Soon she is embroiled in lying to the Excise men, and wondering if she dare risk falling in love again.”

Maybe Dark Whisky Road is a little melodramatic, and reminiscent of Jane Eyre in places, but what the heck? This is a thoroughly enjoyable true-to-the-genre romance.

I confess I initially selected the book because of the lovely piebald horse on the cover, which shows that cover content is as important as the narrative, but soon found myself engrossed in the struggles and doubts of our wonderful heroine, Melanie Grey. Forced to leave her wealthy life as a duchess, Melanie finds a position as a governess and housekeeper for a widower and his daughter. And so the plot continues from there, leading to the Excise Men and other such nasty baddies.

There are fascinating and well-created characters in this story, most of them with secrets or struggles to overcome, and of course there is an anxious budding of love. We meet the typical-genre necessity of brooding heroes, unsure heroines, dastardly anti-heroes, remote settings and misunderstandings

Jen Black writes with a crisp, refreshing style and elegant descriptions which take her reader right into the scenes she is creating. Her characters are equally well written, Melanie in particular is not the typical feisty beauty who has it all – she is vulnerable has her fears and none of the modern feminist views we often come to expect in novels. In this story she is ordinary – and I very much liked her, and Ms Black, for it!


© Helen Hollick




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5 comments:

  1. Being no beauty myself, I do enjoy reading about ordinary people. Why should the stunners have all the adventures? Good for you, Jen.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Loretta. It's interesting, isn't it, that outside of film stars, models etc (who pay a fortune for enhancing their looks with hair stylists, make up etc) most of us are just plain ordinary. Yet novels usually always have the heroine as beauty. (Well OK my heroines usually are as well, but that's my inner self wishful thinking! *laugh*)

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    2. Lol, I guess that's why there are so many beauiful people in fiction - wishful thinking. I'm so prosaic, haha. I do like my heroines to have something beautiful about them though, their eyes, skin or hair. After all, we all have something special.

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  2. I cheated a bit by adding scars to someone who might have been considered a beauty!

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