Set in London, circa 1842, 22 year old Eliza Gilbert (AKA: Lola Montez) needs to escape an impending divorce trial. She takes some acting lessons - highway robbery costs, at that!, learns the Spanish dances, and accepts a trip to France to meet with her dancing teacher's superior in France. Here she is offered an alluring deal: spy on the Spanish royalty as part of Senor Juan de Grimaldi's acting company/dance troupe, in exchange of keeping her far away from her trial. She is sent off to Madrid, with her role in the musical play la Pata de cabra as her cover - but she makes the mistake of falling in love with her prey and Spanish lover, General Diego de Leon. Now she is a double agent - twice the danger! - and when they plot a very risky kidnapping attempt, they are exposed, and Lola finds herself headed towards France with a very angry group of Loyalists on her tail. Will she make it?
Lola Montez actually existed (read more about her here), although the author takes some liberties with her story, as it is, of course, simply fiction. This book is the first in a series by this new author, and I have to say I enjoyed the storyline and Lola's character as presented. I think if she was alive today, the tabloids would be calling her a "hot mess". ;) She survives with a bit of luck and being one step ahead. If you enjoy historical romance, I think you'll enjoy this one too, even though it's not really "romantic". Think of it more as historical faux memoir told by the main character with some scandal tossed throughout the book.
Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers The Spaniards by Kit Brennan is a paperback historical romance book published by Astor & Blue Editions. It is 258 pages long. The suggested cover price is $14.95, but Amazon has it available for $11.07 as of this posting. It is also available as an e-book for the Kindle and other e-readers.
I received an advance readers copy of this book in order to read it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own, and not that of the author(s) or publisher.