Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Blighted Troth by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer

Title: The Blighted Troth
Author: Mirella Sichirollo Patzer

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Canadian / 18th century)
Publisher/Publication Date: History and Women (2/8/2011)
Source: The author

Rating: Loved - definitely a favorite of 2011.
Did I finish?: YES - I couldn't put this book down!
One-sentence summary: Two lovers in 18th century New France are cruelly separated by the evil machinations of a rich lord and their struggle to be together is confounded by disease, political upheaval, evil priests and a mysterious nun.
Reading Challenges: E-books, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I do -- it reminds me of a small cameo the hero might carry around of his true love.

I'm reminded of...: Ann Radcliffe,Eliza Haywood, Priscilla Royal

First line: Fast approaching hooves rumbled against the damp earth of the long, tree-lined dirt road.

Did... I love the mix of historical accuracy (small pox outbreak!) and Gothic drama (mysterious nun!)?: YES.   Honestly, I was grinning the whole time I was reading because this was like popcorn awesome.

Did... I like the unexpected spiciness that showed up now and then?: YES.  It's not a lot, but there's some naughtiness that makes this story feel a little dangerous in the best way!

Did... I kind of crush on the reformed ruffian?: YES.  Just wait, you'll see -- he's so dreamy!

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Totally buy - the e-book is inexpensive ($3.99US) and this is a delightful read, perfect for a summer weekend or a few nights when you want to escape!

Why did I get this book?: I'm a reader of Patzer's blog and love her posts so when she asked me to review the book, I eagerly said yes.  I knew I was in for a treat and this didn't disappoint!

Review:  This deliciously readable historical has the feel of a great Gothic: an unrepentant villain, a virginal heroine, nefarious doings with nuns and priests, daring escapes, and the promise of true love.  Set in 1702 in the Saint Lawrence River-area of New France, it follows the beautiful Emilie and her betrothed, Robert the miller, whose plan to marry is derailed when the evil seigneur, Richard Tonnacour, decides he wants Emilie for himself.  The story unfolds at a breakneck pace, full of intrigue and adventure, and I was literally delighted with every turn of the page.

The novel felt a bit like a book from the 18th century: the story had a kind of unapologetic romantic melodrama not often found in modern novels and I loved it.  I literally raced through this book, eager for the next turn of the story, and I loved the characters and plot twists.  The writing is clear and straightforward, the characters distinct and vibrant.  I anticipated some of the story's developments which actually heightened my anticipation because I was so looking forward to seeing how Patzer would tie up everything. 

This is a perfect escapist historical novel, easy to dip in and out of or read in a few long sittings.  I can't rave enough about it (ask my coworkers!) and I'm now an eager Patzer fan (which is good -- you'll see in the forthcoming Q&A that she has two more historical novels in the works!).

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Giveaway!  The author has generously offered an amazing giveaway for my readers: one signed paperback copy of The Blighted Troth and three e-book copies (in the format of your choice)!  All four prizes are available for US and international readers!  To enter, please leave a comment indicating which version you'd like (paperback, e-book, or either) and an email address.  Ends 6/24, open to US and international readers.  For another entry, be sure to check out my Q&A with the author on June 8th. 

35 comments:

  1. This sounds really good and what an amazing giveaway! Thanks!! I'm in for either paperback or e book but I do prefer paperback.

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  2. I've been eying this book for a while! I'd love to win a copy. Either would be awesome, but I prefer paperback! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Allisonmharper@hotmail.com

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  3. Sign me up for this one! It looks really good. Either paperback or ebook is fine with me!

    runaway84(at)gmail.com

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  4. I should not...but I can't say no! Yes I want to enter and see what it's all about, and met that ruffian

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

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  5. I was totally drawn in by your tweet! sounds like a fun read, I would not have known about it otherwise.

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  6. This one sounds really interesting. Count me in! I'd take either the paperback or the ebook, but I think I'd actually prefer the ebook. I'm moving cross-country soon & already had to put sooo many books in storage! But I can never pass up a good book. :)

    jmartinez0415 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  7. Wow. This book sounds really good. An evil villain, a heroine, count me in! I prefer paperback. Thanks! - Melanie
    melaniehope66@hotmail.com

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  8. Yours is the second positive review I've seen of this novel. The book sounds great!

    I won't enter the contest since I won your last one, but this book is definitely going on my wish list...and since the e-version is nice and cheap it may not stay on my wish list for long.

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  9. "popcorn awesome" might become my new saying! And I've added this one too (drat you). It sounds fabulous, count me in for the giveaway: jeskimo.kimono@gmail.com I'd prefer paperback if I won! But even if I don't, I'll be buying the cheap ebook!

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  10. Sounds like a great book. =) I prefer paperback, but I will read either format.
    tiredwkids at live dot com

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  11. I would like to enter for the paperback.
    Thanks!

    quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Thanks for the giveaway and review I usually don't read much historical fiction but this sounds quite tempting.
    Can international readers enter for the paperback? If yes that would be my first choice, if not I would go for the ebook.

    eveningreen AT gmail DOT com

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  13. Sounds really good would love to win either format.

    Amandask66 AT gmail DOT com

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  14. I'd like to win the paperback version.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  15. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a new follower because I ♥ historical fiction. Count me in for either format!

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

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  16. Oh, I would love to read this! It sounds excellent, and I love a good historical read. Please do enter me in your giveaway for an e-book version. Thanks for the generous giveaway and for the wonderfully thoughtful and enticing review!

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  17. Oops, forgot to leave me email address:

    zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

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  18. I prefer the paperback, but will be getting an iPad, so I could try the ebook version too.

    arcookson at yahoo dotcom

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  19. Sounds like a fun read and a lovely giveaway! I'm good for either e or solid!

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  20. I would love to enter for the paperback copy. Thanks!

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  21. Evening Green: yes, international folks can enter for the paperback copy as well as the e-book copies!

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  22. Thanks for the giveaway.

    I would like to enter for the paperback copy. I don't have an e-reader and reading on my PC screen is veru awkard and limiting.

    Thanks.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  23. Another historical novel! I'm in heaven,

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  24. I love books that take on a place that I haven't read about before. I had heard mention of this book but this is the first review I have seen of it. I love the sound of the breakneck pace and gothic drama!

    Please enter me fro the paperback.

    dolleygurl[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  25. would enjoy reading this novel...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  26. Great review Audra!
    I love historical fiction and things with a Gothic feel are always interesting to me :)

    No need to enter me in your giveaway, tho; my TBR pile is too big at the moment!

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  27. Sounds like a fantastic historical fiction book! Thanks for reviewing it! I love romance and melodrama, LOL :-)

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  28. Thanks for giveaway!!! I prefere paparback version.
    kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

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  29. The book sounds awesome and I just got a new Kindle so I would love hte e-reader copy! Thanks!

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  30. Breanna -- Please include your email address as your blogger profile is private! Otherwise, I can't contact you if you win!

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  31. Your review intrigues me and I do love historical books. I would like either the paperback or the ebook. Thanks for the giveaway!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  32. I prefer either or :)

    Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

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  33. I'm in. Your review says this is a good read. My first preference is paperback, ebook after.

    jmwordsmith at gmail dot com

    Thanks!

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  34. I'd love to take the paperback version on summer vacation. Thanks for the chance.

    nanze55(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  35. Awesome giveaway!!
    I will love paperback but e-book is great too!

    ilepachequin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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