<>

Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Victorian Scoundrel (Windsor Diaries #1) by Stephanie Burkhart

It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Edmund of Wales, back to 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Description:

It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Edmund of Wales, back to 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon finds herself over her head in trouble. Edmund is determined to help Prince Albert build a dirigible and the prime minister appears intent in preventing her from stopping Edmund. Alice knows it's too early for the massive flying machine to take to the air. Complicating matters is the passionate Grayson Kentfield, Earl of Swinton. Alice can't stop her pulse from pounding when she's near him.

Can Alice give her heart to a man from the past while working to stop Edmund from changing history?

REVIEW

All’s well that ends well... At least that was supposed to be for some of our characters, but especially for our whole society of the 21st century ... I mean 19th ... 21st! 

It is normal to expect complications when the time travel is possible and the time machines are not well guarded, especially when the one who puts his mind to do the journey has everything it takes to succeed. 

Interesting, and in my opinion quite hard to do it, is to create a thread of the story that will not drag, but draw attention, make you curious when all the characters appear to be the good guys. Mrs. Burkhart succeeded such a plot because if everything seems to proceed as planned by our characters (and their plans and interests do not always support one another) there will still be tension, uncertainty, even despair, and climaxes. Some of them, because Mrs. Burkhart, generous as she is, will offer one for each character, plus one for all of them together. And the characters deserve that! I have enjoyed each one of them. Somewhat alike (I have already said that all of persons seem to be good and understanding) they have their own individuality that will influence the course of their history... world history… 

So, where the "drama" coming from, from where comes the tension, the possible failure or danger? What could be worse or as bad as changing the history, as our century time travel theorists warn us to be possible? And so, it is the time to talk about the romantic side of the story. Love stories, past or present, or present but which bloomed in the past, possible and impossible given the conditions, the morals and... the time will entwine with the interests of Alice and Edmund. But will they entwine enough to influence their decisions and good intentions? And how long is the road to Hell, and what form will the hell take? (I can think of only one scene that, if it was somehow more veiled, more Victorian, it wouldn't have lost any of its significance and it would have allowed me to give the book to my daughter.) 

Regarding the historical past and the contemporary world build by the author, they are the ones you know and not so much. Steampunk elements, not many, but also some that seem to be of a magical sort will be peppered here and there, where they will be needed as explanation, way of doing, or atmosphere. 

And because it is a time travel back in the Victorian age, I must mention how the author put together the  mores of the two eras. She skillfully plays on the line dividing the proper from improper. Even if there are one or two broken rules, one with possible disastrous effects according to the old society, our characters provide us a pleasant picture of the way they adapt and hmmm… control their actions.

But let's not forget that this is just the first volume of The Windsor Diaries, so something must go wrong. What will that be, you will see for yourself if you read The Victorian Scoundrel. I liked it.

About the author:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing. 


34 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Thank you so much for having me here today. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Alice and Edmund are two of my favorite characters. For a treat, here's a link to the book trailer:BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

Smiles
Steph Burkhart
Romance Under the Moonlight

Rita said...

I liked the review, thank you.

Natalie said...

How many hours do you spend writing each week?

Victoria Alexander said...

Great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

Wendy Hutton said...

thanks for the giveaway

Cali Willette said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

Stephanie LaPlante said...

I love books based in the Victorian Age. Sounds like a great read.

Juana said...

I liked both the book description, and the review.

Betty Woodrum said...

Great excerpt! I suppose that writing helps you to decompress after working a shift of emergency calls. I would certainly need something~that's a high pressure job! Thank you for sharing! Btw, I'm addicted to chocolate and coffee, too!

Betty Woodrum said...

This sounds like a marvelous book~such a different premise! Thank you for sharing!



patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

Arf2-D2 said...

Sounds like a fun read. Making the "bad guy" her cousin just complicates things even more. :-)

Eva Millien said...

Thanks for sharing your review, sounds like a really good book!

Nikolina said...

Thank you for your honest review!

Arf2-D2 said...

Time travel is complicated! While working to stop Edmund from changing history, she has to be careful she doesn't change it herself.

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading your review. Looking forward to checking out this book!

Arf2-D2 said...

Language evolves over time. I wonder how many difficulties that would present to a time traveler.

Arf2-D2 said...

I wonder if the prime minister is a key character or not. Is he trying to stop her out of idiocy or out of malice?

Arf2-D2 said...

I like the scoundrel cover. The rogue one, less so.

Arf2-D2 said...

The review really made the whole series sound interesting.

Arf2-D2 said...

It would be interesting to see how "how the author put together the mores of the two eras". Some mannerisms/phrases/ideas that one age takes for granted might not even have been considered by the other.

Arf2-D2 said...

"But let's not forget that this is just the first volume of The Windsor Diaries, so something must go wrong. "
Does this mean that the books need to be read in order?

Arf2-D2 said...

Are the children's books steampunk style too?

Dan Denman said...

I like a good time travel story. The characters and description have me really interested in this story.

Arf2-D2 said...

I wonder what someone in the past would say if someone claimed their name was something more modern/never heard of in that time period.

Arf2-D2 said...

What happens if Edmund succeeds at the dirigible flies early? How bad would it be?

Arf2-D2 said...

How would an Earl, who is presumably in the public eye, explain the sudden appearance of Alice?

Arf2-D2 said...

Alice, traveling through time... Is Edmund the white rabbit and grayson the mad hatter?

Karen H said...

I enjoyed reading your review of this book.

Amanda Sakovitz said...

thanks for the chance!

Dan Denman said...

I like a good time travel story. I like the excerpt, and Alice seems like a good character.

Ree Dee said...

Thank you for the informative review.