The latest ARC I received is entitled Romancing Miss Bronte, and is written by Juliet Gael. Here's a link to the Barnes & Noble page about this book, and here's the cover:
Romancing Miss Bronte is an historical fiction concerning Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette.
Frankly, I wasn't expecting to like this book, as I'm picky regarding historical fiction and romance novels.
But I did like it. Immensely.
Overall, the story was entertaining, and felt pretty authentic. It's obvious that the author did her homework. Charlotte Bronte went through some tough times - and if you know nothing about Miss Bronte's history, this book is an interesting introduction to them.
Charlotte's other siblings come to life, as well. Emily Bronte, who wrote Wuthering Heights, Anne Bronte, who wrote Agnes Grey, and their brother Branwell, who wasn't particularly famous for his literary works.
My interest was kept throughout the entire novel. At the end of the novel, I felt like I knew more about the Brontes, and I really cared about what happened to the characters.
The title is a bit misleading, however. The title makes this book sound like a romance - and while there is romance in it, that lovey-dovey stuff doesn't come into the picture until the narrative has already progressed fairly far. There is yearning, loss, and many other strong feelings, but love that is felt by both parties takes awhile to evolve. Personally, I like this. If a reader is expecting a predictable romance, however, this book is not one of them.
In summation, Romancing Miss Bronte is a very enjoyable read. Its' sentiments often resemble the Romantic era more than the Victorian, and love is dealt with in various ways, not just the predictable ways in which romance novels often do. Based on my prior knowledge of Charlotte Bronte's life, the book seems to be mostly historically accurate. I read through this book quickly, and I recommend it to anyone who is fond of fiction, who is, in particular, a fan of the Brontes, and/or a fan of romantic or literary fiction.
Romancing Miss Bronte is released April 27, 2010.