April's Reviews > The Queen's Dollmaker

The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent
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's review
Jan 31, 2011

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

For the most part, I really liked this book. What I liked best was that, for once, the main character in a historical romance was an entrepreneur and not some pampered nobility or some downtrodden peasant-type. The heroine is in trade and really does make something of herself; I truly enjoyed watching Claudette taking a tiny opportunity and somehow growing it into a small business, and then from there growing it into a well-known business that catered especially to royalty and the rich. That, for me, is gratifying because I'm a self-proprietor myself.

Another thing I liked about the book — the history is real, and the story entwined with it is plausible. Naturally, the main characters are fictional, but the way the author wove them into historical fact was interesting for me.

Also, I enjoyed the story and the characters. The book engaged me, and it was easy for me to root for the characters' successes.

What I didn't like, however, was how Claudette and William Greycliffe met the first few times. There was too much feeling on Claudette's part, and she was too antagonistic. It didn't feel natural. I can well imagine her to be cold, stiff, and silent, but she was all fire and anger — over someone she just met and who should have been of no consequence in her life. And he, of course, took far too much notice of a servant who should have been wallpaper for the likes of him. There needed to be more of a reason for all that feeling, more of a set up, to make their encounters at the Ashby household seem more likely. As it was, it felt a little forced for me. This is a character who can keep a calm head and respond appropriately for most of the book, and yet she acts as if she has no impulse control during these first encounters with Greycliffe.

The other part of the book I didn't like was how easily Claudette agreed to go to France again and how quiet she kept it with those she left behind. This is a character with a lot of common sense, who knew enough not to sign a contract she didn't understand and therefore stay out of prostitution, but she did NOT have the common sense to stay out of France in its time of trouble — or, at the very least, to take the proper precautions before going there.

Those two instances were the only ones to mar my full enjoyment of the book, my suspension of disbelief. The rest of the book, however, was great.

Free Kindle downloaded December 31, 2010. Finished reading January 31, 2011.
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