Author: Georgie Blalock
Source: TLC Book Tours
Summary: The setting wasn’t vibrant enough and the characters weren’t realistic enough to make this period drama engaging.
“Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancé was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess… But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…” (source)
I hate to say this about a book where I’ve kindly been included on a tour, but I struggled to find much to like. Initially, I enjoyed a glimpse of what it was like to find oneself near royalty. Princess Margaret’s magnetism and (correct) assumption that everyone would jump at her whims was interesting to watch. From there, it was all down hill. The historical setting was largely irrelevant to the story. Aside from the strict class-based constrains on who could marry whom, this book could have taken place in any time period. The two main conflicts in the story – would Margaret marry someone her family considered unsuitable? And would Vera choose love and a career over the status conferred by friendship with someone wealthy? – could have been transported to another setting and I wouldn’t have noticed. Margaret’s world was insular enough that current events didn’t penetrate. Place descriptions weren’t vivid enough to make me feel I’d been transported to another time. I learned nothing new about this time period.
The characters and plot were just as disappointing as the setting. Margaret comes across as extremely spoiled. We never get her perspective and she never achieves more depth. As a result, I wasn’t invested in her romantic choices, which were one of the main conflicts. Vera, meanwhile, makes several decisions that are obviously huge mistakes, without enough earlier character development for me to believe these are the choices she’d make. Initially, she has a somewhat daring personality, but she very quickly becomes someone who only does what the princess wants; worries about the princess; and worries about whether she should leave the princess. There is nothing else to her as a person. We’re sometimes told that she’s lonely or dreams of writing, but I always felt on the outside looking in. Her emotions just weren’t convincing to me. She felt very flat. This means that the other major conflict, her internal debate between career and love or serving the princess to maintain her status, quickly became dull and repetitive.
Obviously, this book didn’t really work for me, but if you’re interested in getting a different perspective on the post-WWII royal family, you can check out some other opinions on the tour. You can also get additional information from the publisher here.