Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.
I received a complimentary copy of “Inventing Vivian” direct from the publisher Covenant Communications, Inc. in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
On what drew my eye towards this novel & author:
I, admit, the past several months I’ve had a lot on my mind and my attention on my blog hasn’t quite been what it used to be prior to my return to work. There was a short expanse of time in Spring where I had better focus, but honestly, #WyrdAndWonder gave me the blessing of being able to stay super focused on genre (ie. Fantasy) and allowed me the grace of dissolving into beloved reads and treasured characters’ journeys. I met new authors in their stories and I found new worlds and series I cannot wait to read further as new installments emerge; yet, two of those final reads have been left stagnant awaiting me on my desk, as ever since June first began (including the first week AFTER our lovely event this May) — we’ve had nothing but seriously difficult weather patterns!
The lightning has been unreal this year – although, its a yearly angst, I had 29 out of 30 days of June dealing with it, including 10x of grief without connectivity. Whilst 9 out of the past 10 days of July have been a repeat of June’s weather. I’ve also worked a solid 3x weeks with only 1x day off which hasn’t left me a lot of personal time to read or think about revising the drafts I have leftover from #WyrdAndWonder, or the goals I had set forth for my Summer reading plans. Including announcement formally my new even co-hosted with Peyton, #MyYASummer! (grr!)
Somewhere in that recent bit of chaotic hours, I’ve overlooked the fact this novel Inventing Vivian is a sequel and the second in a series. I learnt there is a novella (blessedly on audio!) prequel as well — however, I learnt this as I was picking up this particular novel to read and thereby, despite my efforts checking all my local & regional libraries – no one has these titles in print or audio sadly to borrow this weekend. I decided to read this novel after gleaming a bit from the chapter samplers online and meet the series in the second installment. It breaks a pattern I prefer in how I read series but I’ve done this a few times with success with Harlequin Heartwarming novelists and a few others as well, to where I can align myself into a series without having the grace of knowing the characters in the first novel.
I intend to seek out the other stories but for now, what intrigued me the most about wanting to read this story is both the setting (have a great fond affection for the Victorians!) and the fact, this is an INSPY release by a publisher I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading previously! I am a HUGE fan of INSPY Lit – both Historical and Contemporary, so whenever I see a chance to read an author by a publisher of INSPY I haven’t yet locked eyes on in a story, I am truly grateful for a blog tour to allow the meeting to happen! Plus, of course, I am dearly addicted to Historical Mysteries and Feminist Fiction.
Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society.
After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.
Places to find the book:
Published by Covenant Communications Inc
on 7th June, 2021
Format: Trade Paperback
The Blue Orchid Society series:
(more info on author’s blog) wherein I was right, there are truly six women!
(can we just pause a moment & take stock of their outfits? LOVE Vivian’s ensemble!)
Emmeline (prequel novella or 0.5)
Having read the synopsis – I knew quite immediately, I’d be keenly curious to read this story or rather, as I cannot read digitally, listen to this novella on audiobook! There is something curious about how two people who have such friction with each other who are constantly placed in each others’ path to give you a happy dose of curiosity to see how and when they’ll start to see each other differently! Plus, I spent a full year (approx. five years ago) reading Historical Feminist Fiction – wherein, I learnt a lot about the suffragette movement and have continued to seek out stories of that nature whenever I get the chance to read them. It is essential reading for all women – to both understand our present rights and the hard-won fight we had to endure to secure them in the past. Whilst mindful of how fragile those rights are still as their constantly being debated and attempted to be removed even in today’s world.
Emmeline sounds exactly like the kind of heroine I would enjoy rallying behind – here is what I gleamed out of the chapter sampler online: Arthur for all his bluster was at a complete loss to keep company in conversation with Emmeline because she, for whichever reason caught him off-guard and without a way to defend his positions. He clearly was not a bourne believer in Feminist rights nor in the ability to see gender equality but he for his own sake held his own until he abandoned the fight altogether – in that short expanse of seeing him quite befuddled and put to rights by Emmeline, I knew this was a novella I would quite devour! And, rightly so! It is hard to find a well-writ Historical drama set during the Suffragette movement where both men and women are on their game and give you such a delish bout of dialogue to soak inside!
Emmaline is definitely the kind of heroine I want to read about further and I am thankful for the sampler to introduce me both to this series and to a character who is equally as well-developed and fully alive as Arthur is himself. A credit to Ms Moore and her tenacious eye on this setting in History. I can tell it will be a pure delight to listen to this once I’ve secured a copy on audiobook.
Solving Sophronia (book one)
Alas! The Blue Orchid Society was launched (per this novel’s synopsis) due to the goals of five women – each of them, I would presume want to break convention and go their own way in life at a time where women were fighting for gender equality & the rights all of us today are thankful for their fight so many years ago. I had a feeling the Society had something to do with women coming together – either for mutual benefit or as mentioned, for sisterhood fellowship. It is fitting there are five women – which means, this must be a quartet, with Emmeline’s story (the fifth) being the extra one or its a full quintet and hers was a bonus story and she’s the six member rather than the fifth? Either way, I’m equally more curious to read this lovely than I was after reading about Emmeline! It isn’t oft I find a series that situates itself in a timescape that I delight in reading about about topics that interest me as much as this one is now.
It was through her acknowledgements in this novel where you really gather the feel for how she textured her series and how she plotted out the five novels and Emmeline’s novella. Interestingly, I hadn’t expected to find out she was fully new to all of this – the setting, the suffragette movement and even the forensic knowledge of the era! Most of the authors she credited with a boost of informational nudges are ones I’ve read myself (ie. Carla Kelly being a stand-out in my own readerly life as well) — whilst I am so thankful Ms Moore found “Murdoch Mysteries” as for me, it is a family favourite as well. Until of course, we reached one of the last years (Season 10 I believe?) and we couldn’t take it anymore – it was after they killed off a beloved constable – so if that sounds familiar, you know whom was lost and why it was too hard to return. Murdoch as a series is landmark though for showing historical forensics (even if they play liberties at times) and for showcasing non-conventional women succeeding in fields wherein you might not expect them to find success. Its a beautiful series!
I decided to hold off reading further into this sampler as I intuited enough through the acknowledgements and synopsis to realise its a winner for me!! I’d much prefer to read the novel just as it is and enjoy it after I listen to Emmeline’s novella. Which of course, means, I’ll have to re-read Vivian’s novel as everything will have new dimension for me, too!
Inventing Vivian (book two)
Hazel | Elizabeth | Dahlia ← forthcoming installments!
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook
Converse via: #HistoricalRomance, #HistRom and #HistoricalMysteries
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge