For my today’s Sunday Book Review I’m doing something a little different. Because I’m behind on my reading and not nearly halfway through my current read, I’ve asked my good friend and Sister of the Fey, author Colleen Chesebro if she wouldn’t mind sharing one of her most recent reviews for a book she has just read and written a review for. Colleen was kind enough to send me her review so I can share with you all here as an early preview before she posts it on her own blog. Now that’s what I call a good friend!
The book –The Lady’s Slipper by Deborah Swift which Colleen has reviewed is described as – Historical Romance with a touch of intrigue. And now I’m curious to read this book because I’d like to find out how a simple orchid can become the cause of obsession and murder!
A sweeping historical novel of orchids, obsession and murder
When artist Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the lady’s-slipper, growing in a nearby wood, she is captivated by its beauty. It is the last surviving specimen and she wants to preserve it for future generations. There is only one problem – it is growing on the land of Richard Wheeler, a newly-converted Quaker, who will not allow her to touch it.
Fearing for the flower’s fragility, she steals the orchid, little dreaming that this seemingly simple act will set off an unstoppable chain of events – a web of intrigue that will lead to murder and exile, and change her comfortable life forever.
Colleen’s 5 Star Review:
As a gardening enthusiast, I was drawn to this book because of the rare orchid. The book blurb literally drew me in.
The time period centers on the Quaker Revolution in Great Britain, a time period I was not familiar with. The orchid becomes the catalyst that moves the story forward in strange and unusual ways.
Alice Ibbetson, an artist who paints flowers and plants, is still grieving from the death of her little sister. Her neighbor, Richard Wheeler, a newly converted Quaker, shares the existence of the rare lady’s slipper orchid with Alice. The plant was long thought to have been extinct in England.
Alice pleads with Richard to let her dig up the orchid in order to protect it. Richard refuses, and Alice takes matters into her own hands and steals the flower hoping to save it, with the idea that she could grow more.
Richard is outraged and bound and determined to prove that she took the flower. Fearing for her life, Alice enlists the help of an overbearing lord who desires the flower as a cure for a disease he’s suffered from his entire life.
Trusting no one, Alice plots a way to preserve the plant, but thoughts of war are sweeping the land. Soon, Alice and Richard find themselves immersed in the conflict. They are sucked in by the trickery of the greedy lord, while Alice’s maid works her intentions on Alice’s husband and wealth.
There was sex in the book, so be prepared for the author’s portrayal of the raw realities of life during this time period which underscores the people’s affinity for believing the worst in people. This also illustrates the power their religion held over them. The story reads like a tragedy, although karma brings the story to a satisfying close.
I found “The Lady’s Slipper” to be entertaining and a real page-turner. If you love Historical Romance filled with intrigue, this is one book you will enjoy.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist who loves writing about paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.
A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.
Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the CarrotRanch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called The Bus Stop. Her debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.