Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: BY THE KING'S DESIGN by Christine Trent

In the past I mentioned that Christine Trent has sometimes been referred to as a “fluffy” author. I would have to completely disagree with that statement but I will be the first to admit that I enjoy and really love a good fluffy novel because sometimes you just need one. I found “By the King’s Design” easy to read and love the woman empowerment that all of Christine’s novels focus on. In truth what woman reader would not enjoy a novel that has a courageous heroine with an unusual trade that is seeking to find herself while he is trapped in a world dominated by men. Tragedy, love, and the prospect of a revolution always make for some dang good reads in my mind. It is one of the many reasons I enjoy Christine’s novels so much.

Annabelle Stirling, Yorkshire sweetheart with the courage of a man thought she had life all planned out. After her parents suddenly passed away she took over the family draper business with her brother Wesley as a helpmate of sorts. The plan was to married to her brother’s best friend. But life never goes as planed and sometimes people make bad hurtful choices that you cannot go back from. Sort of like when you throw a rock in a pond it make ripples across the whole surface Annabelle’s life was in the ripple effect. It was then that she realized she had made the worst choice ever and that her to be husband was just the man she did not need in her life. He tried to take from “Bell” the one thing she cherished most and he almost succeeded in destroying her business. In truth he wanted to control her. But the pistol toting Annabelle had other plans for her future after she had her awakening she realized there was nothing left for her in Yorkshire and it was time to move on.

She would walk all the way to London and there she would demand parliament compensate her for the Luddites aka now ex fiancee who tried to destroy her shop. Since she had the meanest suborn streak imaginable Annabelle was not going to back down until some type of action was taken. Parliament of course took her as a joke because she was a woman and she defiantly did not get the results she was looking for. Instead she attracted the attention of the Prince Regent himself and that could result in negative consequences or maybe some positive ones.

The Prince Regent soon to be George IV found Annabelle’s fiery spark a curiosity and decided she would be perfect for the commission of supplying the fabrics for his at the moment big project the new Royal Pavilion. London became Belle’s new home and with it came her fabric and her brother Wesley from Yorkshire. Life in London was good. Things were looking up for the siblings but Belle was completely caught off her guard by the hot cabinetmaker Put. But Belle had made up her mind back in Yorkshire that she would never giver herself to a man because she would never let anyone rule over her. If she did it was possible that she could stand to loose everything that she worked so hard to build. She came so close to loosing it all back in Yorkshire she would never take the same chance again. Her vow to never let that happen again could cost her everything with Put, Her King, and her brother Wesley.

4.5/5 This novel was very different from Christine’s other novels but this one is her only novel that is leaning way more toward a regency novel period. It shows that Christine is not afraid to evolve as a writer and grow from each work. Progress is good and Christine really did a wonderful job on this novel. For some reason Regency novels are not my top pick but this was the perfect amount of George IV because I really can not handle too much of George. I love that Trent added in an appearance by Jane Austen, Princess Caroline, and the parade of women that were George’s past and present mistresses. I found this one to be an excellent fictional Regency novel that packs the perfect amount of girl power and tragedy that all adds up to a great novel. Highly recommended.



  1. I really, really want to read this book! It sounds good to me!

  2. Glad to see you back!
    Fluffly novels are not bad novels and I simply do adore a fluffly novel here and there. :) Great review, sounds like a fun adventure!

  3. Meg, you would enjoy it I like that this one was different from Christine's previous novels. Change is good and this one is proof of that.

    Thank you Carole, I honestly just have to slowly dig myself out of this review hole I have been in. Not accepting new ones but finishing up the ones I already have. I enjoyed this one and it reminded me why I love reading so much. I hope you get the chance to check it out.

  4. I really enjoyed this book from Christine. I have never read an actual Regency novel before - so this was a sort of easing into the era for me. I did love the inclusion of Jane Austen for a little extra flair. Great review.

  5. Heather, I agree it is a great way to ease into Regency period. It is such a different time period that some find it a tad difficult. Ha Jane was good in it. I wonder how her next one will be the cover looks so dark from her past ones.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...