India Black by Carol K. Carr
Author: Carole K. Carr
Genre: Fiction (Historical / Victoriana)
Rating: LOVE. Love it so much I wanna marry it.
Did I finish?: You couldn't get me to stop even if you threatened me!
One-sentence summary: London madam is wrangled into spying on Russians on behalf of the Empire, with help from street urchin and government agent.
Why did I get this book?: Historical, sex worker, Victorian. Yum!
Source: The author.
Do I like the cover?: Yes. That dress, please. And the jewelry. Plus her come-hither/I-kill-you stare.
First line: My name is India Black.
Did... I fall in love with India Black after the first page?: YES. The first ten sentences had me hooked.
Did... I develop a bit of a crush on the heroine and the hero?: YES. This isn't a romance in the slightest but both leads killed me with their hot.
Am... I going to die waiting for the second book?: YES. This one is coming out Jan 4th, FYI.
Review: There's nothing like being hooked by a book on the first page. It's kind of exhilarating, really. All you need do is settle back and greedily read on; and in this case, I guzzled this book like it was orange soda and I was five.
Despite the heroine being a madam, this isn't a risque book. Carr opens the novel with India Black shooing away anyone who wants to read "a young woman's schooling in the arts of love" as well as the overly pious and easily shocked. It was then I realized India and I would get along just smashingly.
I love action films and spy thrillers for lots of reasons, but a biggie is that there's usually a strong woman as a companion -- or better, colleague. Smart, gorgeous, calculating, tough, the woman is as interesting as the spy hero but gets less back story and screentime. Those women always intrigue me: how did they end up where they did? What's their deal?
Reading India Black is a bit like having a Victorian Bond Girl be the star of our film. She's used as bait and saves the day, is wined and dined and kidnapped and locked up; she kicks butt and gets abused in equal part. There's a company man, French, who is enigmatic and dreamy. A ruffian sidekick. Intrigue iced with witty comebacks and droll retorts. There are even chase scenes and fight scenes and a hint of naughtiness just to keep things fresh -- and addictive-ly readable. I am so looking forward to the next India Black book; I anticipate being a vocal Carol K. Carr fangirl.
See my previous Teaser Tuesday for a little taste of India Black!