Book Review: The Creole Princess

8 Apr

721985All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter–though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie–and somehow keep Lyse’s family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

 

 

313204_b8f0fbd6de603d031772f89385f2f7f1.jpg_srz_p_268_398_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzAbout Beth White (from her website) — I grew up in the South, specifically North Mississippi, which has a rich tradition of fostering writers, storytellers, and musicians. I’m fond of both music and literature, so I amuse myself by teaching chorus and piano in an inner-city public high school by day, while conducting a secret life as a romance writer by night.

Anyway, I find myself, after more than half the years I’ve been alive, still married to my last college boyfriend. He still makes me laugh, he still gives me the warm fuzzies, and he still checks my tires, so I guess I’ll keep him. We somewhat successfully raised two young adults, who are both married and have begun producing amazing grandchildren. My cup runneth over.

Anyone who wants to know more about me should read my books and my blog. I am something of a hermit In Real Life, except in the classroom and on my computer, but I am very much interested in what makes my readers tick. And what ticks them off. And what makes them smile. So please email me here. I promise to answer.

 

My Impressions:

Beth White’s novel, The Creole Princess, is the second book in her generational, historical fiction series, Gulf Coast Chronicles. I have been a fan of her contemporary romances (writing as Elizabeth White) for a while now. I read The Pelican Bride and while I liked and recommended it, it didn’t really have the WOW factor. The Creole Princess does. Meticulous research, wonderful plotting and well-developed characters shine in this novel. If you are a fan of historical romance, pick this one up!

Lyse Lanier is a Creole daughter with a mixed heritage as spicy and rich as the gumbo served in the colonial town of Mobile. Not white, not black, she struggles to find a place in society as well as keep her ever-growing family financially and emotionally afloat. Whispers of rebellion don’t really affect her, until a mysterious dandy, Don Rafael, arrives in town.

I loved the engaging and entertaining characters in The Creole Princess. White does a good job of representing the social and cultural system that bound people during the late 1700s. Slave and freedman, British and French are all in attendance. I cheered for my favorites and booed the villains. The characters act naturally amid the political intrigue of the British West Florida colony depicted in the novel. Liberty and freedom are in the air and the ideals of America are juxtaposed with the system of slavery and strict class distinctions prevalent in that day. You can tell that White did her homework. When I think of the Revolutionary War, I think of Valley Forge and Yorktown, not Mobile, New Orleans and Pensacola. I also didn’t know about the Spanish contribution to America’s freedom. This little known history (at least to me) added depth to the love story between Lyse and Rafa. And that love story is as sweet and indulgent as a beignet!

If you like richly detailed historical fiction with a large dollop of romance, then The Creole Princess is for you.

Highly Recommended. 

Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE

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