Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Review of Charity Amour by Joy V. Sheridan

This novel, set in the time of the French Revolution, concerns the destiny of Charity Cottrell - extraordinarily beautiful and talented. Early in life she was deprived of her secure home base because of an eviction. She had to become a live-in domestic to keep a roof over her head. In desperate self-defence, she attacked one of her employers, the lecherous aristocrat Lord Rispian, and had to go 'on the run'. In the course of her adventures, Charity encountered the attentions of Lord Clover, a passionate admirer, who became a patron. He built her up as an Opera Star, and she received massive ovations. 
Later, she was kidnapped and taken to a French brothel, where she was 'groomed' by the proprietress, Madame d'Esprit, to be a supremely desirable Lady of Pleasure. She developed some Sapphic feelings for the proprietress. She was eventually rescued, and spirited away - in the nick of time before the brothel was destroyed by a Revolutionary mob. She did an 'anvil' marriage with Lord Clover. Shortly after this, the villainous Lord Rispian did a vendetta on Clover, his deadly rival. Charity had felt she was happily married, and was devastated at the news. But having established the validity of her marriage certificate, she came to inherit Clover's estate. After her bitter struggles through life, she emerged with status, strength and power - to rename herself 'Charity Renegade'.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* 

This story reminded me of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë in how Charity is forced to experience hardship early in life. Also in the character Lord Clover, who seems to be a handsome version of Mr. Rochester. I enjoyed these similarities but more so because of how Charity Amour takes many different turns. 

When Charity's father dies she is forced to leave her home and find work. She is innocent as can be and learns quickly how rough a place the world can be. Charity is a strong woman though and always seems to find a way for herself. 

I enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. There are adult elements in the novel, as well as romance. This is a story of a woman struggling to find herself while being tossed around by life.