Monday, May 07, 2018

"Modern" Pimpernel Novel Offers a Fun, Feminine Twist (With a Giveaway!)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Lady Scarlet Cavendish, a wealthy English widow, wears many disguises.  At home, she masquerades as a feather-headed, fashion-obsessed debutante.  While in France, she plays a harmless hag, a clever seamstress, a guillotine groupie, even a soldier—anything to aid the innocent victims of the country's bloody revolution.  Her most secret identity, the one she guards with her very life, is that of the Pimpernel.  A daring spy, the Pimpernel is a "man" of mystery who specializes in whisking French aristocrats out of the country right under the noses of their accusers.  No one would believe a moneyed, well-bred society lady like Scarlet capable of such derring-do, which is the very reason she must pretend to be as incapable as possible.  Lives depend on her ability to act a part (or two or three).

When Scarlet rescues the handsome, charming Comte Matteo Durand, she finds the last thing she wants to do with him is pretend.  She would like nothing more than to act on her growing feelings, to allow herself to fall in love and settle down with the man who makes her heart pound and her soul swoon.  She can't be entirely honest with him, though; revealing her identity as the Pimpernel could put them both at great risk.  With powerful enemies and strong motivation to unmask the infamous spy, Matteo could be Scarlet's undoing—in every way possible.  Can she truly trust the man she's grown to love?  Can she risk the lives of innocent people by revealing herself to him?  Will the desire burning in Scarlet's heart cause the unraveling of the bravest, most fearless hero of the French revolution?

I barely know anything about The Scarlet Pimpernel—the fictional hero of a series of novels penned by Baroness Orczy in the early 1900s—but I still enjoyed Jen Geigle Johnson's Scarlet, a "modern" twist on the classic tale.  The story stars a likable couple, whose exploits are marked by action/adventure, humor, and romance.  Scarlet makes a convincing heroine, although her antics definitely get far-fetched.  Although it deals with serious issues, overall Scarlet is a fun, enjoyable novel that is both entertaining and compelling.  At just over 200 pages, it's quick, it's clean (besides innuendo and some passionate kissing), and it's captivating.  If you're looking for a light, romantic tale, definitely give this one a try. 


Grade:

If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence, sexual innuendo, and references to prostitution

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Scarlet from the generous folks at Covenant Communications.  Thank you!

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8 comments:

  1. This is a story of intrigue, romance, and history--such a good combination. It sounds like fun.

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    1. It is a good combination! I don't always enjoy these kinds of books, but I liked this one.

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  2. I’ve only seen the old movie from the 80s. Have you seen that? I like the gender swap idea for this one. I might have to read it.

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    1. I haven't. Maybe I should watch it.

      I liked the gender swap in this one, too. It's a little far-fetched, but who cares? It's fun.

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  3. I own a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel which I've never read. Maybe I should get a copy of this one and read them back to back. :)

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    1. I've never read it either. Don't know why. Maybe I will one of these days! If you get to it, let me know what you think.

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  4. I don't really know that much about The Scarlet Pimpernel so I'm glad to see that that wasn't a problem. This sounds like a wonderful read.

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  5. I don't really know much about the original character either, but this sounds like a nice retelling. Thanks for sharing!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete

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