Wednesday, December 15, 2010

India Black by Carol K. Carr

Title: India Black
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!


  1. Okay, I have to get my hands on a copy. Hopefully my library will have it at some point. Loved your review!

  2. This book sounds fabulous! It is definitely on my list!

  3. Anna & Christy: I can't enthuse enough about how fun this book was. Def worth getting when it comes out!

  4. I just finished this myself not too long ago. Is that preface not the best thing ever?! A lot of times the preface/intro is just "meh"--but not this one!

  5. Nice review! I've got this up next to read -- can't wait!

  6. That is one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. Got to get me that book.

  7. @Bev: It really is -- I was so curious about how Carr would handle the madam thing and that preface just reassured me I was in good hands!

    @Jo: Can't wait to see what you think of it!

    @H&W: The cover is so gorgeous -- and while I rarely associate cover models with the book's heroine, in this case, she could easily be Ms Black.

  8. I've never heard of this book before but after your review I want to read it! Thanks
    Happy Readings

  9. @Lisa: It comes out Jan 4th -- definitely pick it up!

  10. your love for this one makes me love it before reading it! must get.