I’m always surprised when I struggle with a book. It doesn’t happen very often. I’ve learned enough about my tastes that I can usually pick out a book I will like. Even so, there are occasions where a book will sound like one I will enjoy and as I read I struggle to stick with it. Unfortunately, this was the situation I found myself in with Beth White’s latest novel, The Creole Princess.
**I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
It is 1776, and all along the eastern seaboard the American struggle for independence rages. But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieter–though no less deadly.
Lyse Lanier may be largely French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile. When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic. But is he truly who he makes himself out to be? Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict. Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit? Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?
With spectacular detail that brings the cultural gumbo of the Colonial Gulf Coast alive, Beth White invites you to step into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known slice of the American Revolutionary War.
It isn’t often that I struggle to finish a book. But for some reason, The Creole Princess was one that I struggled with. I wanted to enjoy it, I truly did, but every time I picked it up I found myself ready to put it back down or to trade it for another book.
One of my biggest complaints was probably the characters. Many of them just didn’t come alive for me. They felt too fake and too unrelatable. Lyse comes across alright, especially as we learn some of her family history, but Rafa just felt over the top and in fact, the more I learned about Lyse, the less I saw those two as a likely romantic pairing.
As for the plot, I’m not really sure when that was going to pick up. There are plenty of hints to something, but nothing actually happens. Most of the interest and excitement comes from Lyse’s family history and a bit from the romance between Lyse and Rafa. Even those few hints that we were offered began to feel repetitive. Often Rafa talks about “listening for information” but I don’t feel like we really see it.
This is a book that I may be willing to pick up again later. For myself, I know that if I’m just not in the mood for something in particular I just might not get interested in it. I’m hoping that turns out to be the case for this book. Maybe with some time, if I pick it up again, I will have more interest in it–because the synopsis truly makes this sound like a wonderful story.
About the Author:
Beth White teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl.
A native Mississippian, she is a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and grandmother of two–so far.
Also published as Elizabeth White, her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.
- Beth White’s Website
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- Check out The Creole Princess on Amazon