A Thing of Beauty: The Sir Henry March Mysteries (Volume 1) by Bianca M. Schwarz
Book Review by Moctezuma Johnson
I had never read a historical romance before and found it to be a daunting task. It took me a while to get accustomed to the pacing of the novel but luckily Bianca can really write well. The grammar is sound and the writing is highly polished. Little by little she pulled me into her world. The book starts off somewhere in England before the invention of the telegraph and slowly builds around a rich gent and a pretty woman he finds beaten at the curb. The tone is way more suited to literature than genre fiction, at least in the beginning. The tone is slow and meaningful, not the fast paced superficial prose of much contemporary Erotica. Bianca has done her homework and has the sound of the English spoken in that time period with detail paid to the different accents of the different classes. The first half of the book follows as a period piece giving you the feel of the day with a love story of Henry and Eliza. The second half has a plot about an old enemy that they try to catch in the act of torturing young girls. One demerit for me was the attitude of the novel toward which sexual deviances are acceptable and which are evil wasn’t made clear to me. It was assumed the reader would consider some men good and others bad, but I am not so easily convinced. I wished there was more discussion on the subject.
Also worth thinking about and discussing is the style of prose. It’s slow and languid. My guess is that fans of historical fiction will really enjoy the attention to detail and appreciate that Bianca took the time to install a thorough plot. Personally I wish the plot came into prevalence a bit earlier but do applaud the overall structure. Admittedly I don’t usually read historical romance fiction, so i suspect this probably means this was built smarter than I’ve even realized. Overall, The dialogue was quite well done even though Henry didn’t always speak like a man. Still, the dialogue was true to its time with a smattering of old words like phaeton, serviette, and curricle. The ending was really well done. I don’t usually like when plots are neatly tied up but in this case it was like a 1000 piece puzzle had slipped into place. Pretty cool.
Dick Rating: I can’t really give it too many dicks up because I’m not sure it’s even erotica. It’s a historical romance with an erotic element between two characters and some sexual deviations used to create villains not sexual satisfaction for the reader. I guess I’d give it one dick of two dicks up.
Literary Value: A Tale of Two Titties and Some Dicks out of a Tale of Two Cities.
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars. The story is well worth reading!