Friday, August 22, 2014

"Prelude for a Lord" by Camille Elliot

 {{This is an updated review. Originally posted August 22nd, 2014, it was updated on November 14th, 2019 to the Official Rating System.}}

About this book:

  “An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?
   Bath, England—1810
   At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her fort√©. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.
   In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.
   But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.
   Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.
   Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .”

Series: Book #1 in “The Gentlemen Quartet” series.  

Spiritual Content- Scriptures are read, thought over, & mentioned; Prayers; Many talks about God, listening to Him, having a divine relationship, & God loving us; Church/Chapel going; Dommick prays and has a faith, but Alethea has not had good experiences in church and believes God abandoned her in her time of need; *Spoiler* Towards the end of the book, Alethea realizes the truth about God and feels peace from Him *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of God & faiths; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; Mentions of churches, chapels, church going, services, & rectors; A few mentions of Christians & sinners; A couple mentions of thanking God;
*Note: “who the devil are you?is said once and “Good Lord” is said twice; Hell is mentioned three times: “where he had seen the gates of hell”, Bayard says he returned from fighting Napoleon, he had a “hellish hole in his sanity” and a person says another person made their “life a living hell”; Different gods are mentioned (Roman god, Apollo, god of the sea, Poseidon, and a man comments “the gods have cursed me”); A man believes that an instrument has the power of the emotions from its previous owner.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blast it’, four ‘idiot’s, and four ‘stupid’s; A few mentions of curses (said, not written); Dommick has PTSD nightmares of fighting in a war (up to semi-detailed); Alethea has flashbacks of her brother breaking her fingers & the pain (up to semi-detailed); Fighting, pain, blood/bleeding (semi-detailed); Kidnappings, being held at gunpoint, gunshots, being shot/being shot at, injuries, blood/bleeding, & pain (up to semi-detailed): Being grabbed, pain, & bruises (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of thieves/intruders & threats; Many mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of wars, fighting, seeing deaths of people and animals, blood, & nightmares of it all (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a man who abused & killed his wife (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a twelve-year-old wanting to stab someone & enjoying the bloodthirsty parts of a play; Mentions of kidnappings & being tied-up; Mentions of bullies & fighting; Mentions of gambling halls & debts; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of hunting & guns; A few mentions of being ordered to kill horses in a war & Dommick not being able to do it (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of an accident & death; A couple mentions of eye rolling; A couple mentions of a drunk; A mention of a corpse; A mention of pulling the legs off of frogs for fun; A mention of an alcoholic drink; A mention of vomiting;
            *Note: Mentions of Alethea’s brother and cousin trying to sell her into marriages; A couple mentions of women marrying men twenty and thirty years their senior.

Sexual Content- hand kisses (up to semi-detailed), two not-detailed kisses, two semi-detailed kisses, and three detailed kisses (one is called “sizzling” in the discussion questions); Touches & Warmth (semi-detailed); Noticing, Nearness, & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); Lying in bed with a spouse (barely-above-not-detailed); Alethea father had an illegitimate daughter & Alethea is very close with her half-sister; Mentions of marital intimacy & a marriage of convenience not being intimate (nothing is detailed, only questionable part is when bed sheets are ruffled and a bit of blood in put on the sheets to prevent servants from gossiping); Mentions of a man who tried to force himself upon a lady and confessed that he wanted to ruin her, so she’d be forced to many him (she punched him and ran out before anything happened); Mentions of another man trying to force himself on her, but she is saved before anything happens; Mentions of a man trying to kiss a lady and getting slapped for attempting; Mentions of those who believe that it’s unfeminine for a woman to play a violin and that it draws eyes to their bodies; Mentions of men leering at women and lingering at different areas (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of scandals & reputations; Mentions of flirting; A few mentions of a marriage of convenience; A couple mentions of wanting to have a man’s children; A couple mentions of kisses & kissing; A couple mentions of rumors of a maid being a prostitute; A mention of a rumor of a woman returning home in the wee hours of the morning with her gown mussed; A mention of a man possessing his wife; A mention of a young girl believing kissing is disgusting; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
            *Note: A mention of a woman’s “magnificent bosom” threatening to fall out of her dress; A mention of kicking a man in a well-aimed place.

-Alethea Sutherton, age 28
-Bayard Terralton, Baron Dommick
                                         P.O.V. switches between them.
                                              Set in 1810 {Prologue 1809}
                                                        340 pages

Pre Teens-

New Teens-

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-

My personal Rating-

This book had me intrigued by the back cover with the mentions of mysteries and violins. The music portions of this novel were so interesting and I would find the piece to listen to while reading. It was helpful at times that there was a cast of characters at the front of the book as there’s quite a few names (and titles) to remember.
I enjoyed many different aspects of this book, so I’m disappointed to give this book only a 2.5 rating. Because of all the kisses and mentions towards the end, though, my enjoyment wavered and that affected my rating. If this series is continued, I will most likely try the next book, but I do hope there won’t be as much detailed kissing.

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this e-book for free from the Publisher for this review.

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