Lydia Gastrell

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Smashwords book reviews by Lydia Gastrell

  • Mortal Hobby on Dec. 31, 2012

    Although very short, this was a truly disturbing inside look into the mind of a sadistic serial killer. I could certainly see this being expanding into a full length crime drama. Perhaps the police POV taking turns with the killer POV.
  • A Merchant Of Virtue - Book One Of The Real Victorians on Jan. 20, 2013

    Good historical fiction is difficult to find, but I think I've found a gem here. Historical fiction (especially romance) is usually either so stilted and stuffy that you feel like the author is making fun of the past, or the writing is totally anachronistic and out of place. Having read "My Secret Life", "Romance of Lust" and other actual contemporary Victorian works in this genre, I think the writing and dialogue are near perfect to the period. The terminology is period correct as are the...unfortunately...societal attitudes. Bawdy, but clever; suggestive, but blunt. Lot's of fun, when the author isn't tormenting your precious characters and making you weep for them! I will try not to make spoilers here, but the story is a wonderfully complex piece of intrigue that will leave you dying to see the outcome. Note, however, that the pace and writing style are for those who like to think and savor a story slowly. This is not some cheap bodice-ripper written at a 9th grade reading level. Enjoy =)
  • Discovering You on April 14, 2013

    A good love story and and intriguing suspense. There are many, MANY, historical inaccuracies that will mean nothing if that sort of thing doesn't concern you. If it does, however, you'll be driven nearly crazy. The doctor using antibiotic cream, despite it not having yet been invented; party goers dancing the waltz when it too has yet to be invented; that sort of thing. Also, there is a lot of unnecessary transition stuff. You know what I mean, two pages of describing getting in and out of a carriage and the bland niceties between servants.
  • Betrothal (Book 1: Time Enough to Love) on April 28, 2013

    I understand this is based loosely on the life on a real person, but taking as much license as she did I cannot understand why the author left the ending so...abrupt and unsatisfying. We are also given very little character depth or development. Why does Longford love her? Is is just because she's beautiful? That's the impression we're given, and it's terribly unremarkable. I have never liked Kismet or "love at first sight" stories, and this is one of them. I will give the author kudos for historical accuracy. The way the lady reacted to her arranged marriage is very realistic to the time frame. Too often we see authors taking 20th century moral outrage and placing it on historical characters who simply would not have thought that way. This author avoids doing that very well. =)
  • The Earl's Inconvenient Wife on April 29, 2013

    Wonderful and full of genuine suspense. I was always holding my breath for something truly horrible to happen! I highly recommend it. And I do hope Lord Clement gets his own story, because he's just too lovable. =)
  • Midnight Marriage: A Georgian Historical Romance on May 01, 2013

    Magnificent! It's been a while since I read something that actually had a surprising plot line. This truly had me in constant suspense. The writing is very well done and the historical accuracy is impressive. Even the "good" characters demonstrate a shocking level of class-snobbery, which is perfect! They should. It is the the mid 18th century, after all. I do not exaggerate when I say that this is on par with Dangerous Liaisons, though there is no sex (only alluded to). Wonderful book!
  • Intentions of the Earl (Regency Historical Romance) on May 03, 2013

    This is an excellent read, and it will have you on the edge of your seat, to use a tired phrase. The romantic scenes are expertly written, both in description and dialogue (enough to make you melt in your seat!). Still, there are times when the dialogue comes off a little hackneyed and unrealistic, with characters saying far more than they should, even repeating themselves to the point of being irritating. This would be fine if the point was to show that the character was irritating, but I don’t think it’s intentional. The historical inaccuracies are also a bit grating. As is typical with so many historical romances, the heroine is far too enlightened for her time, and says modern pseudo-feminist things that no woman would ever have uttered in 1815. It’s one thing for the character to think or feel these things, but expressing them to other characters is simply too anachronistic to be reasonable. Still, I highly recommend this story. The plot is rather unique and the twists really do come as a surprise, which is rare these days. Enjoy! =)