Thursday, May 15, 2014

Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards by Kit Brennan | Review

Title: Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards
Author: Kit Brennan
Pages: 274
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions LLC
Goodreads rating: 3.18 stars
Published: January 1, 2013
Source: eBook/From publisher for review


A wild and sexy romp through history based on the real-life adventures of the audacious Lola Montez. It is 1842, London, and the gorgeous, ever-capricious 22-year-old Eliza Gilbert, (aka Lola Montez) is in deep trouble and seeks escape from a divorce trial. Desperate to be free, Lola accepts an alluring offer of a paid trip to Spain, if she will only fulfill a few tasks for Juan de Grimaldi—a Spanish theatre impresario who is also a government agent and spy for the exiled Spanish queen, Maria Cristina. Lola soon finds herself in Madrid, undercover as a performer in a musical play. But when she falls dangerously in love with the target, General Diego de Léon, Lola becomes a double agent and the two hatch a plot of their own. Disaster strikes when the plot is exposed, Diego is captured, and Lola is forced to flee on horseback to France, with a dangerous group of Loyalists in hot pursuit.

First off, the cover had me believing this was going to just be some little "bodice ripper", but it wasn't, and that actually made it better.  While this isn't quite what I was expecting, and pretty far from what I'm used to reading {definitely not YA or paranormal, ha ha!}, it was a very interesting read!  Well written with enough to keep me guessing until the very end, this is definitely a book I would recommend to others who enjoy this genre {historical fiction lace with intrigue, politics, romance, "sexy bits" and a touch of humor}.

Lola Montez {who is actually referred to by her given name, Eliza Rosana Gilbert, through most the book} was actually a honest-to-goodness real historical person.  I didn't realize this until I was looking up the image for this review {did that prior to reading the book}!  There was some "lost time" in her life, where no one really knows what happened to her or what she did.  And this tale is what could have happened to Eliza, AKA Lola.

Like quite a few good books, this begins in the end.  We find Eliza as Lola, being questioned by the police.  Is it because of her divorce?  Did something happen to her ex-husband?  Or one of her past lovers, who'd supported her financially while she was their "kept woman"?  It wasn't until getting a little further into the book that I realized it was more than I thought.

While I'm generally not a fan of politically inclined fiction, I'll let that slide with this story.  It was a bit heavy on the politics, but it was so well woven into the story that it didn't really bother me at all.  I mean, the whole story revolved around politics, but it didn't really feel that way.  I would almost liken it to a Phillipa Gregory novel {only I tend to like the medieval times a wee bit better than the mid-19th century}.

All in all, an enjoyable read!


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