Setting: It’s 1803 and England is in the mitts of fending off a war with Napoleon Bonaparte and English citizens are beginning to get anxious; therefore, causing riots to break out.
Synopsis: A Royal Likeness is the sequel to The Queen’s Dollmaker. Years have passed and Marguerite is now the sole heir of Claudette’s Fashion Doll business. She couldn’t be happier living the life of a tradeswoman with her devoted husband, Nicholas Ashby, constantly at her side. It would seem nothing could bring Marguerite’s spirits down until a raging band of rioters end up on her doorstep harassing and accusing her of conspiring with the enemy as a result of being a French émigré. Suddenly, the riot breaks loose and descends upon her shop breaking everything in their path. While defending his wife’s work, Nicholas is brutally murdered right before Marguerites eyes and her life ceases to matter.
Marguerite decides to escape everything that reminds her of Nicholas and goes to stay with her Aunt Claudette and Uncle William in the country. She soon finds herself immersed in the depths of depression, until one day her aunt gets the idea to send Marguerite to work as an apprentice for Madame Marie Tussaud, who has a wax exhibition residing in London.
Just when Marguerite becomes settled in her new life working for Madame Tussaud, England’s Prime Minister William Pitt, sees Tussaud’s wax work as a useful war strategy and decides to commission a wax figure of Admiral Horratio Nelson. Madame Tussuad decides Marguerite has developed enough skills to go to London herself. Upon arrival, Marguerite captures the attention of two completely opposite men who desperately try to compete for her affection. It doesn’t take long for disaster to strike again and Marguerite finds herself entangled in a dangerous adventure that no woman should ever be subjected to.
Review: A Royal Likeness is such an amazing adventure that greatly surpasses The Queen’s Dollmaker, which was a surprise because The Queen’s Dollmaker was such a refreshing read. What made me love A Royal Likeness even more was how the wax figures were intertwined with England’s fate in the Battle of Trafalgar and how the battle was described in such great detail.
I was quite fond of Marguerites character because she was so prone to accidents, which I can relate to in my own life. I loved how she could pick herself right back up and move on to the next big thing. She really did have a way with ensnaring men without meaning to. Madame Tussaud was a woman to be commended. She was a true business woman who really knew her craft and would never let anything or anyone get in her way. Officer Darden Hastings was a true man of duty and definitely didn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, which made him come off a little harsh sometimes. I guess you could say he reminded me a lot of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
Christine Trent really out did herself with this one! It really takes a hold of you from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until it’s over. The detail in this story is so mesmerizing both with the wax figures and the battles. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a thrill-seeking adventure with a damsel in distress sort of feel. I can’t wait to see what Christine has in store for us next!
I want to say thank you to Christine Trent for sending me a copy of A Royal Likeness to read & review. It was such a pleasure.
On January 17th Christine Trent will be here to discuss this enchanting tale and will also be giving away a free copy of A Royal Likeness that will be open internationally!