Tuesday, January 31, 2012

By The King's Design by Christine Trent *GIVEAWAY*

Thanks to her patron and great architect, John Nash, Belle Stirling is a rising star in the homes of London’s fashionable elite. Even the prince regent wants her elegant, high quality fabrics used in the decoration of his new palace, Brighton Pavilion. But when those closest to her conspire against Parliament, she risks losing her reputation, her business...and even her life

19th century, Yorkshire. Annabelle (Belle) Stirling was raised learning all about the wonderful world of drapers. After the lost of both her parents, Belle starts running the family draper shop all by herself, even if the owner is her brother, Wesley. The latter is a charming young man who isn't interested at all in the shop and lets his sister do whatever she thinks is best for the business.

My favourite moments in the first part of the story were the scenes during Belle's younger years learning all there is to know about drapers with her father, Fafa. They are full of tenderness and we can see what a wonderful and accomplished woman Belle is becoming.

After an incident at her shop, Belle leaves for London where she finally decides to stay and built a new life. Sometimes, I was a little surprised how quickly she landed on her feet. Maybe I was expecting a little more resistance from her peers because not only she was a woman and unmarried but mostly she was unknown in town without any connections. But, in the other hand, the girl knew her business quite well.

The only aspect of this story that pleased me the least was Belle's attitude in presence of her brother. I do understand that he was her only kin, but after so many problems and so many signs that something was really off, Belle remained, for a very long time, completely blind over her brother's doings. It was even more frustrating knowing that otherwise Belle was an intelligent, hard-working woman who valued her independence above all.

I have to say that Ms Trent has a real gift to create interesting heroes. Putnam Boyce stole every scene he was in. His calm, self-confidence and passion make it impossible not to fall head over heels for him. Each time Belle needed his help, he was there for her. The mutual admiration for their respective work was something that I could feel and really appreciate. Of course, Putnam is not without faults, and that makes him even more interesting.

The historical background was extremely captivating. I knew little about the Luddites and while I was reading By The King's Design, I excitedly searched all kind of informations about the movement. The attacks were described vividly, I could imagine without any difficulties the rage and the fear felt during the destruction of the new machines.

In the other hand, the Prince Regent is one of those royals that I never really cared for and therefore, except for his excesses, lovers and marriage with Caroline of Brunswick, my knowledge is quite limited. His reaction to Belle was surprising, but probably not unexpected given his changeable opinions and love for lovely women.

By The King's Design was a wonderful way to begin the new year !

Grade : 4/5
Rules of the giveaway:
- to participate, just leave a comment
- one entry per household
- closes 13th February midnight GMT

Tour Links:
Christine Trent's Website: http://www.christinetrent.com/home.html
Christine Trent on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChristineTrentBooks
Tour Event Twitter Hashtag: #BytheKing'sDesignVirtualTour


  1. I would love to win this book, please enter me! Great Review!


    1. Sounds very good! I'd love to read this!


  2. I would love to be entered. Thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  3. I've been waiting to read this- thanks for the giveaway!


  4. Alex, I am so glad that you enjoyed By the King's Design...that was a great review! Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

  5. sounds like another great book, please enter me. thanks for the chance

  6. This book sounds so good!!! Thanks for the great review and the giveaway!

  7. This sounds like such a fun novel -- I've seen good reviews of it and I love the setting. Having read David Liss' novel last year that featured the Luddites, I'm thrilled to read another with that setting. Thanks for the giveaway!

    unabridgedchick at gmail.com

  8. Sounds very interesting, would love to win a copy!! Thnx 4 the chance

    ctymice at gmail dot com

  9. I enjoy novels in which the main character is a commoner involved with the royalty. This sounds like a great story. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Interesting review, I would love to have this book :) Thank you for the opportunity :)


    Best regards, Diana

  11. I would love a chance to win this book. Thank you

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  12. Already placed a hold for this book at my library based on your review; but I wouldn't mind winning a copy for my own! Thanks for hosting this giveaway.


  13. I would love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

  14. Looking forward to reading this one!

    Tmrtini at gmail dot com

  15. This sounds like it would be a really good book. It is definitely going on my TBR list.

  16. I have to agree that when it came to her brother, Belle seemed really naive which turned me off to her just a little bit. Put was certainly a scene stealer and I too learned a lot about this time period which I really didn't know anything about prior to it.

  17. I would love to read this! Thanks for the chance to win it!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  18. Ooh, this sounds like an interesting read!


  19. This sounds like a great book!

    5678dancer at gmail dot com

  20. Christine Trent's new novel sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway!


  21. I wanted to read a novel taking place in the Regency era but OUTSIDE of the drawing rooms of most of the novels of the period. A novel where the heroine has to work for a living. I always wondered about the life and times of HONEST 18th-19th century women on their own. Please enter me.


  22. Pick me, pick me -- sounds terrific!


  23. Love reading your reviews! Thanks for making it international!


  24. I would love to be entered into the draw!

    nellista at yahoo dot com dot au

  25. The cover for this book is lovely! I like even more that the hero really seems like a gentleman and he is always there for her.


  26. Sounds like a lovely book. I would love to win it!

  27. Sounds interesting, so please enter my name. Thanks.

  28. This book sounds so good, and how gorgeous is that cover?! I'd love to win :) mandyy_n@hotmail.com

  29. Thanks for the review and giveaway! This sounds like such an interesting book - I enjoy reading about the Luddites and some of the social issues of 19th-century Britain.

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

  30. A Regency era working woman. Sounds different. Count me in, please.

  31. I would love to be entered. Thank you
    clandestini at gmail dot com