Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Ambassador's Daughter Another Absorbing, Atmospheric Thriller From Jenoff (With a Giveaway!)


(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Paris, 1919—Even as the world's leaders gather to discuss how to proceed after the Great War, Margot Rosenthal's growing weary of the city.  Brought to France by her father—a German Oxford professor who's been granted diplomatic status in order to attend the historic conference—Margot is bored and lonely.  Still, the 20-year-old's not in any great hurry to return to her home country.  The moment she steps onto German soil, she'll have to face her fiancee, Stefan.  Although he's still recovering from serious battle wounds, Stefan wants to proceed with their marriage as soon as possible.  He's waited four years to make Margot his bride; he refuses to delay it any longer.  Margot knows it's cruel to prolong their separation, but she hardly knows Stefan anymore.  Does she love him?  She's not sure.  Can she marry him, even if it's only out of guilt and pity?  She knows she must.  Just not yet.

When Margot meets Georg Richwalder, a handsome German naval officer, she can't deny the attraction she feels toward him.  Offering to help him translate important documents for the conference is a way to not only get closer to him, but also to alleviate her boredom and do something valuable for a change.  Working so closely with Captain Richwalder puts her in an awkward position—and not just because she's engaged to another man.  Paris is filled with would-be saboteurs who would do anything to get their hands on the papers to which Margot has access.  Even threaten her father.  

Torn between her feelings for Georg, her concern for her father and her anxiety over her impending marriage, Margot must decide what—and who—she really wants.  How much is she willing to sacrifice in order to chase her own dreams?  In days as tumultuous as these, is it smarter to play things safe?  Or is it the perfect time to take a few risks?  

The Ambassador's Daughter, a new historical novel by Pam Jenoff, is a fast-paced romantic thriller set in the tension-filled days that bookended the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.  Although it gets predictable in places, the novel's plot moves fast enough to keep the story interesting.  My biggest beef with the book is actually Margot.  While I felt some sympathy for her, I mostly thought she was too selfish to be truly likable.  Plus, she's a little slow on the uptake.  Those irritants notwithstanding, I enjoyed this atmospheric and suspenseful tale.   

(Readalikes:  The publisher compares The Ambassador's Daughter to Anna Karenina.  I haven't read the Tolstoy classic, so I don't know how apt that comparison is.  The story reminded me a little of other Jenoff novels, especially The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for mild language (no F-bombs), violence and sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Ambassador's Daughter from the generous folks at Harlequin/MIRA via those at Book Trib, for whom this review was written.  Thank you!

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Thanks to the good people at Harlequin/MIRA, I have one copy of The Ambassador's Daughter to give away.  If you're interested in entering the drawing, please leave a comment on this post.  Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  The giveaway is open to readers with U.S. and Canadian addresses only.  I will choose a winner (well, Random.org will) on February 20th.  Good luck! 

16 comments:

  1. I read and enjoyed Kommandant's Girl. I'm sure this will be another great read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Sounds good... I love finding new authors. :-)

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  3. I haven't read any of her other books...but this is receiving fair reviews across the book-bloggosphere. Although the trend of books with "daughter" "wife" "sister" is beginning to bug me.

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  4. Sounds like a good book!! - Stephanie (sgrplum17@aol.com)

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  5. I love the time period! Thank you for the chance to read this book :)
    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. I have been seeing this book everywhere. It sounds so good, I would love to win it! Thanks for the chance!

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  7. Forgot to leave my email, whoops! suzebomb(at)gmail.com

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway!
    kmfuller94(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I was just, today, researching books with fictional diplomats and came across your interesting review. Either karma or a really timely coincidence!
    susanholly@verizon.net

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  10. I just started reading this last night. I didn't get very far but I am planning to get some more read waiting in that kinder pick up line.

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  11. I wouldn't ordinarily pick up a book like this one, but this review perked my interest! I need ot finish the one I am into now and maybe this one might be a good next read for me. I am reading Blood Land by R.S. Guthrie, it is set in the "now" so a little different than the one you wrote on, but it's been great read for me and I suggest it to everyone! rsguthrie.com if anyone wants to take a look and add it to their tbr lists! Thanks for the post!

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  12. Sounds like an interesting book!!

    rachel01marie@gmail.com

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  13. Would love to win this book, it sounds like a good read.
    Thank you for this chance to win.

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  14. I left out my email address. cabwnana@bellsouyh.net

    I haven't seen my comment yet, maybe I didn't do something wrong.

    I will add a note just in case the other one does't show up.

    Would love to win this nice give away. Sounds like a good read for this cold month.

    Thank you.

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  15. I love historical fiction!!!
    I have Anna Karenina in my reader, but haven't started it yet...
    allthepiecesofme(at)live(dot)come

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  16. I love her other books, and this one sounds good too. Thanks for doing a giveaway! candches(at)gmail.com

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Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

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