Release date: November 7, 2014
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions LLC
Genre: Historical, Romance
Paperback: 362 pages (ARC)
I was recently given the chance to read Whip Smart: Lola Montez Starts a Revolution by Kit Brennan. The wild and sexy Whip Smart series is based on the audaciously cosmopolitan, uniquely influential and true-life historical figure, Lola Montez—the actress-turned-political diabla of Victorian times. In her most flamboyant adventure yet, Lola Montez gallops to Bavaria and on an outrageous dare, seduces King Ludwig I. The aging royal cannot resist her fascinating moves as a Spanish dancer, nor the exciting wardrobe malfunction which ensues. As their scandalous love affair gains momentum, all of Europe seethes with an explosive unrest not seen since the French Revolution. During the opening months of 1848, Lola finds herself the target of a terrifying witch hunt, and it will take her considerable wiles to not only save herself but foment a revolution that can change the known world. Written in Brennan’s signature fun, sexy style, Lola Montez Starts a Revolution sequentially continues Lola’s adventures from France (in book two—Lola Montez and the Poisoned Nom de Plume) and Lola’s origin story from England to Spain (in book one—Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards). And coming soon, book four—Lola Montez Seduces America—follows our heroine to New York, Nicaragua, and California.
The book starts in mid-gallop as Lola rushes to a meeting with perhaps her greatest adversary – her Irish mammy. From there she travels to Bavaria and becomes the mistress of King Ludwig, as the country unites in protest against her. I loved this heroine even as I found myself hoping she would cut her losses and just get out of town: Lola is witty, courageous, determined, and really quite vulnerable, and the mix of Spanish and Irish slang that peppers her speech is strangely addictive. If the historical Lola were only half as bravura as Ms. Brennan describes she was truly remarkable. And while she is truly quick and full of life, the novel also manages to be very informative about this time period. I really enjoyed Brennan’s writing style and would definitely recommend this book to all of my fellow historical fiction lovers!
Kit Brennan is the author of Whip Smart: The Lola Montez Series — adventure novels based on the real-life story of Lola Montez, a top-notch, notorious bad girl of the Victorian world. Kit’s keen interest in history (especially Victorian) drew her to Lola, one of the most widely-traveled women of her time: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards (book one) is set in England and Spain, Lola Montez and the Poisoned Nom de Plume (book two) in France, the upcoming Lola Montez Starts a Revolution (book three) in Germany and Switzerland and Lola Montez Seduces America (book four) in New York, Nicaragua and California.
Brennan is an award-winning playwright, and teaches writing and storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She divides her time between that vibrant city and the quiet lake wilderness of Ontario, alongside her husband, Andrew.