Description (from cover):
‘Set during a period of revolution and turmoil, Mistress of My Fate is the first book in a trilogy about Henrietta Lightfoot, a young woman who was abandoned as a baby and raised alongside her cousins, noble children of a lord and lady. At just sixteen years old, circumstance and a passionate love affair tear Henrietta away from everything she knows, leading to a new life fending for herself on the streets of 18th century London as a courtesan, gambler, and spirited intellect of the city.’
When I first started reading this book, it felt like I was reading something along the lines of Jane Austen. I was immediately sucked into Henrietta’s story of hardship and loneliness and could feel nothing but pity for her character. She is forced to endure a life as the pitiful poor relation in a home where wealth reigns supreme. Her uncle has ‘adopted’ her after she was left an orphan at an early age and she is forced to grow up beside her spoiled and vicious cousin, Catherine. Catherine must have her way in all things and she is spiteful to Henrietta just because she can be. Nevertheless, Henrietta grows up feeling alone and neglected, but is resolved to her life. Soon Catherine is debuted to society and quickly she is engaged to a handsome man with a title. However, due to fate, George and Henrietta fall in love and feel despair at knowing they will never be able to be together. This is the story of love, betrayal and courage in the face of troubling circumstances. A tale that leaves one begging for more.
Like I stated earlier, the beginning of this novel reads like something Jane Austen would have written. Henrietta is a naive and youthful character and we follow her through her trials and happy times and we watch her grow and develop into a courageous woman. I really enjoyed how the author took us through Henrietta’s challenges and showed us that Henrietta is a character that all of us can relate to. Things don’t come easily to her and I really liked that about her character. It was almost nice to be able to relate to her and root for her throughout the story. Right around the middle part of the book it started changing and becoming less of something to be compared to Jane Austen. Romance and sex took over and changed the story drastically. This wasn’t tastefully done and I appreciate how the author took us from a naive character into one with a backbone. It was necessary to the plot and while I’m not a big fan of overly descriptive sex scenes, it was tolerable.
I didn’t know when I was reading this that this apparently is the first book in a planned trilogy featuring Henrietta. When I reached the end I was a little frustrated because the story isn’t wrapped up and I didn’t realize that there is to be more from this story. So I was a little upset about that until I learned that there was more and it all made sense at that point for me and so I was no longer disappointed. In fact I can’t wait for the next installment and to see what happens in the future for Henrietta and see how she will change throughout the course of her story. The writing was superb and flawlessly done. A good read for historical fiction lovers who enjoy reading about a character who has to struggle a little bit.
Overall Rating: 4
Title: Mistress of My Fate
Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Series: Confessions of Henrietta Lightfoot #1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Get It: Amazon; Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.