Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Respectable Actress

GIVEAWAY

LOVE, DOROTHY
A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS

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.

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 Review:

Sheer brilliance! I love the mix of historical romance and suspense and Dorothy Love has done a superb job of blending the two.  The plot twists have plot twists and the surprises don't stop until the very end. A breathtaking tale of intrigue -- both past and present -- kept me riveted the whole read through. There are even some Gothic elements to this story. Definitely an abundance of delight for suspense lovers.

Fascinating historical details make the read all the richer -- many of them inspired by real life incidents. The author has definitely done her homework and brings history to life in a captivating way. I especially enjoyed the insights into the early days of theatre life. And for fans of courtroom dramas, A Respectable Actress has some compelling courtroom scenes.

I have to admit to being surprised to find the absence of any kind of faith thread since this book was published by Thomas Nelson. One of the reasons I read Christian Fiction is for the uplifting inspirational threads expertly woven into the stories. I find I am continuously being disappointed by this publisher in this regard. That being said, I do feel that A Respectable Actress is a captivating read though I wouldn't classify it Christian Fiction.

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/dlove

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  A Respectable Actress please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday November 1 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

50 comments:

  1. I really like what I am reading about this book in the reviews. I like courtroom dramas so this sounds like it is right up my alley. Thanks for the review and giveaway. Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about the faith message.
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. The courtroom scenes were really fascinating. Good luck, Loraine.

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  2. The historical details sound like they really make this book along with the suspense.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. Yes -- I love reading the author notes at the end of the book and finding out the inspiration for the story. Good luck, rubynreba.

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  3. A Respectable Actress sounds dramatic, with a Gone with the Wind feel. Love your reviews, Kav!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  4. I am looking forward to reading this, but am surprised to hear about the lack of a faith thread--I don't mind the lack necessarily, but agree that it should perhaps be labelled a clean read rather than Christian fiction. I appreciate knowing that beforehand, though. Thanks for the giveaway! Danandlyndaedwards(at)msn(dot)com.

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    1. Yes -- and Thomas Nelson is doing this a lot. I wish they would create a 'clean read' imprint so buyers would know instead of us assuming that it's Christian fiction. Good luck, Lynda.

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  5. Thanks for the giveaway!

    alysap at yahoo dot com

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  6. Kav, thanks for the great review. I am so perplexed by Thomas Nelson and the direction they've chosen. I'd love to read this book IF it had a faith thread in it, but since it doesn't, I'll pass, so please do not enter me into the drawing. Blessings...

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    1. You're like me -- I prefer reading faith-based novels. And there was so much potential for that in this book. It's still good but I really missed the inspirational thread. Perhaps we should start an email campaign to Thomas Nelson. I really think they need to be identifying the books that are actually Christian Fiction so buyers know what they are getting.

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    2. If you spearhead it, Kav, I will follow. This just makes me think of how some, even churches, are trying to increase numbers vs. hearts.

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    3. I agree. It seems like they are doing a disservice to their old customers as they are going for a different market segment.

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  7. Some of the major Christian publishing houses are, ironically, owned by some very non-Christian people. That could explain some of the content/focus shifts, though it is still a shame.
    I still enjoy reading clean fiction, so I would love to be entered for this giveaway, Kav! Dorothy Love has such a charming style.
    Thanks!
    pocoauthorATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Yes -- but if you're a mainstream publisher and you buy up a Christian publisher than shouldn't you let the Christian publisher continue to publish what they do best -- Christian books? Otherwise, why bother absorbing the company if it's just going to be the same ol' same ol' as their mainstream stuff? So confusing.

      But yes, Dorothy Love is an amazing storyteller and I did enjoy this book. Good luck, Nicole.

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  8. I would love to read this one, Kav! Thank you for the opportunity.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie. Good luck.

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  9. I have enjoyed reading Dorothy Love's books and this one looks very dramative and suspenseful. If have added it to my TBR list. On a different note, I agree that there should somehow be a distinction between clean read and christian.
    reneerachoyolsenATgmailDOTcom

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    1. The suspense really makes the story. And yay -- another one who understands about the distinction between Christian Fiction and a clean read. Good luck, Heather.

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  10. Loved your thoughts as always, Kav! Now I'm excited about starting on this one tonight. And a loud "amen" to what you said about spiritual threads in Christian fiction. Keep saying it and maybe publishers will take note.

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    1. We need to start a letter writing campaign, Carole. Hope you enjoy the read.

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    2. I'm going to be more intentional in pointing this out in my reviews, and I always post on publishers' Facebook pages. Sometimes themes are more subtle or can be shown in characters' attitudes & actions, but there's a difference between that and no faith thread at all.

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    3. Oh -- I never thought of posting on publisher's Facebook pages. Must check into that. And yes, I don't need to be hit over the head with a faith thread -- I love the subtle and not so subtle -- whatever works best for the story. I just want a faith thread in there somewhere. :-)

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    4. Very smart! Readers, like me, should do that too. Not just bloggers.

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    5. Definitely. I'm going to write Thomas Nelson for starters. I'll let you know if I hear back from them.

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  11. I totally fell in love with her last book The Bracelet. I was very intrigued by it. Wow, this sounds like a powerful read . I agree , Kav not just this author but others as well are labeled Christian fiction but I see nothing in the story that would tell me it is this. That seems to be the trend more and more now I've found . It is disappointing to find so many books being labeled Christian fiction when they should just be labeled clean reads. I am thinking the book publishers know what authors are popular and that their books sell fabulously in the Christian Market but they think they may not do as well selling in the regular fiction category. Just my two cents worth and I may be totally off on my guess, lol,
    Deanne patterson
    Book1lovingmomma at gmail dot com

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    1. That's an interesting thought, Deanne -- about the way the publishers are marketing these not really Christian fiction books. And it certainly has worked for a while, but I've caught on and will be more cautious about what I buy especially from Thomas Nelson. But you're right -- these clean reads might not make huge waves in the mainstream market...which is why they should just stick with keeping the faith message and wooing us wonderfully loyal Christian Fiction readers. LOL Good luck!

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  12. A historical fiction murder mystery sounds intriguing. I would love to read this novel.

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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  13. I'm a little perplexed too as to why Thomas Nelson has taken to "clean" reads, especially when they put out Bibles. Wished they wouldn't do that or like you said, label a book as a clean read so Christian fiction readers like myself can decide whether to read it or not.
    That being said, I've heard Dorothy is a wonderful author and her other book "The Bracelet" has some good reviews. I would like this enough to put my name in the hat for a copy. And as always, I appreciate your warning on any book you feature! I think for me, the history, mystery and court-room scenes would be fascinating!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. It's definitely a great combination. So many mysterious nuances...and the old South theme too added atmosphere. Good luck, Trixi.

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  14. Sounds fabulous! Interesting info regarding the publisher and this kind of book.
    LattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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  15. I love to read and am always running out of books to read. in regards to the publisher maybe they let the god of money become to big of an influence. mknewswangerATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Can't have you running out of books, Michele! Good luck!

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  16. Thanks for the review Kav. Would love a chance to win.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  17. The cover is stunning!
    And I love me some Great mystery novel :)

    Count me in, please.

    janka(dot)halcinova(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're counted, Janka. Good luck.

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  18. I read Carolina Gold by Dorothy not to long ago, not to familiar with her otherwise. Beautiful cover on this book!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I like the cover too, Patty. Good luck.

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  19. Count me in. Thanks for the very informative reviews.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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    1. You're counted. Good luck, Boos Mum.

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  20. Thanks for your review of A Respectable Actress and the chance to win it. I've only read one other book by Dorothy Love, The Bracelet, which I enjoyed, so I'm wanting to read more of her books.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. That's the same with me, Pam. I've only read two of Dorothy's books -- The Bracelet and this one. Good luck.

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  21. The cover of this book is beautiful! I so enjoy good suspense. The story line really sounds intriguing...a murder takes place on stage during a live performance and the prime suspect is a famous, beautiful actress who is the co-star of the man who was murdered?! Multiple twists, romance.....yup, sounds like a goodie!

    I'm sad to hear this news about Thomas Nelson Publishers. I too read Christian fiction for the inspiration of Christ reflected in the lives of the characters within the story. If you're going to leave the influence of Christ out of fiction, why call it 'Christ'ian fiction???
    ~Alison

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)

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    1. Very good point, Alison. We'll have to ask Thomas Nelson that question. Good luck!

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  22. I was so jealous to see that you had already gotten to read this one. I'm usually not drawn to historical romance until a blogger/reviewer increases my interest, but I was instantly drawn to this one when it was only available as a preorder. I'm glad you drew attention to the missing faith elements in the story, if only to inform the reader. It's too bad that readers have to rely on reviews to get this information. God is using your talent and wisdom in such a beautiful way and I am thrilled to be a witness to it.
    tlhcoupon (at) Hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Ah, thanks, Terrill. And yes, I think the publishers should make buyers aware of which books are true inspirational fiction and which are just clean reads...or, in some cases, not so clean. LOL And this is a really interesting blend of historical and suspense and that's what really captivated me right from the start. Good luck, Terrill.

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