While it is no secret at all that I am as avid a bookworm as they come, I have secretly always wanted to explore the coveted world of reading Advanced Reader’s Copies, otherwise also known as ARC.
This year, as the world slowed down and we all moved into the safe confines of our homes, I found myself with a lot more time on my hands and realised this was as good a time as any to venture into the world of ARC’s.
And while there are every kind, every genre of books I have reviewed in the past 6 odd months, there are some that have left a lasting impact on me. Which led to the light bulb moment of having them as a regular feature on my blog.
And therefore, my first feature for November ARC, a historical fiction, that had me hooked from page one 🙂
The Paris Affair
“He and I both agree that you – with your instinct for nosing out the most complicated and hidden conspiracies and your complete lack of social standing or renown – would be the ideal person to act as our…source of inspiration, if you see what I mean”.
And so, begins the story of Theresa Schurman’s latest adventure which takes her from the quaint cobbled streets of Vienna to the heart of Paris.
Set mainly in Paris, a few years before the French Revolution, we meet Theresa as she accepts a commission to embark on a secret mission to uncover the truth behind the scandalous rumours being spread about the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; this means Theresa must go undercover as she tries to infiltrate the highest ranks of French aristocracy.
What I loved:
Susanne Dunlap creates a stunning and lavish image of Paris of the 18th century. It is easy to see, within the first few pages that the book is very well researched, and succeeds in taking a figment of history and creating a fictional tale full of suspense and intrigue.
Overall the plot retains a steady pace, faltering not even once and waffling never. Also, her attention to detail when it comes to the customs and traditions of the 18th century is incredible as is her knowledge of the intricacies of classical music.
I especially loved the little note at the end of the book where Susanne talks about the real-life inspirations behind the key characters (no, not just Marie Antoinette).
What was challenging
Before reading the book, I had no idea that this was actually part of a series of books. There were parts that referred to what has occurred in the previous book(s) which for me, was slightly confusing.
One of the best things about accepting advanced readers copies, is that it helps you discover genuinely talented authors, who would have otherwise remained on the back shelves, flying low on the radar. This book was a genuinely good find in the many many ARC’s I have reviewed so far, and a book I would recommend to all fans of history and historical fiction.
P.S. I’d strongly recommend a playlist of classical / neo-classical music playing in the background for this book!
P.P.S. I’d like to thank Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for my advance readers copy.
The Paris Affair is now available to purchase both as an e-Book and Paperback on Amazon
Do you read ARC’s? Have you come across any excellent ARC’s that you’d recommend?
P.S. featured image courtesy Goodreads