Monday, July 13, 2020

Heart of a Thespian by Emma Kathryn

Abandoned in a strange town, orphan Tessa has nothing but her stunning looks to help her survive. She catches the eye of two very different men. Tony, star of the music hall stage, hideously deformed but somehow seductive, wants her to perform alongside him. Rich and handsome Riley, on the other hand, offers her a peaceful life with the gentry.
Tessa's choice leads to a scandalous career as a magician's assistant. But before too long, she realizes there is a sinister force behind the scenes. Something which could see her glorious new life ending in a bloody and gruesome final act. Which man is prepared to save her? As her fate hangs in the balance, Tessa will at last learn the meaning of love.

My Thoughts

In Heart of a Thespian, a young girl named Tessa finds herself alone in a seashore town.  At her lowest moment, a magician named Tony helps her find her way in a new town. Despite the scandal of being involved with a theatre person, Tess finds herself drawn to the handsome older man who always wears a mask. Then, another man named Riley stumbles upon Tess. Rich and handsome, he tries to woo her away from Tony. She's torn in two directions, and to add to the suspense, she finds herself in the midst of a mysterious theft. While Tessa's heart leans toward Tony, she worries about what people will think of her if she chooses a life on the stage. Will Tessa choose Tony or Riley? Will she get drawn in a crime? You'll have to read the book yourself to find out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel. As a fan of the Phantom of the Opera, its impossible not to draw a parallel between Tony and Erik, but make no mistake, this is not a retelling. This is a unique story line with a heroine who doesn't hide behind her skirts and a hero with debonair charm. I loved the tenderness Tessa shows Tony in regards to his deformity, but I also enjoyed the passion. Overall, this was a fantastic novel that provides a tender love story with a few steamy moments, and an accurate view of life on the stage in the Victorian era.


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