#BookReview of The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources

Posted November 23, 2018 by Zoé in Book Reviews, Reviews and Stuff / 2 Comments

#BookReview of The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources

The Merest Loss by Steven Neil
Published by Matador on November 28, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 368
AmazonAmazon US

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?

Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?

The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centres on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.

I have said this many times before and I will say it again, I am a book cover hoe! I saw this cover and I had to read this book, just look at it! To me, it looks like Scarlett Johannson on the cover!! So, of course, reading this, that is who I imagined! So you know Hollywood, if Scarlett needs a job this is the book for her! 

I am beginning to reignite a passion for historical fiction and this book helps me along the way.  Before Napoleon came along, Harriet’s personality shone through the book, this carefree and rebellious woman stole the pages. Then we enter the part of the book where Napoleon turns up, and the research that has been put into this book is ridiculous because it is amazing! You could believe you were back in the 1800s, you could picture everything perfectly, the actions and mannerisms of the people, felt to me, spot on and I thoroughly enjoyed the road we walked upon. 

Not one word I felt had been wasted when writing this novel. Every single word was needed to create such a fascinating, engrossing story for its time. 

I will admit I do not know much about this era of time, but I love a book that can teach you something. I feel now I can walk away and I have learned something today and when a book can do that it is amazing.

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Thank you so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite and the author  for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review

About Steven Neil

Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.

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2 responses to “#BookReview of The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources

  1. jenchaos76

    It does look like her! However, I don’t really like story lines like this. Agh I get so frustrated with the women.