I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Prize Fighter and the Lady by Frederick Atwood
Published by Smashwords Edition on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC from publisher
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Handsome Englishman Marcus Southey is running from the law after an illicit affair goes wrong. As he flees across the Scottish border, his path crosses that of fiery red headed Roberta Kyle, herself desperate to escape from the clutches of the loathsome Hamish McGheill. A partnership is born out of desperation, their mutual destination Glasgow. Along the way they meet up with a prize fighting troupe. Roberta encourages Marcus - against his better judgement - to partake in a bout. He wins and this sets him on the road to boxing success. Taking them from the slums of Glasgow to the halls of the aristocracy. Theirs is a strange relationship, at times tempestuous and at others contemptuous, layered over with an abiding care for each other.
I liked this book! Roberta was probably my favorite character. Due to the style of the writing, she wasn’t the central focus a few times, and I missed her. What was interesting was that with each character, it felt like they were the ones that you were supposed to root for, but they all had flaws or kept making bad decisions. At times it was like a test. I liked that there was no clear-cut main character, no clear-cut winner in every scenario. The relationships between the characters were so tangled up that it seemed very realistic, less like a story with a solid (perhaps predictable) plot and more like an account of these peoples’ lives.
A few things seemed to go predictably well, but generally, things were turned on their heads quite often. There was of course the ideal ending lurking in the back of your mind, but it was a bit of a tease—it never quite seemed to get there. But it does end well, I will say that.
Yes, another aspect that makes it seem less like a story and more like an account is the ever-shifting perspective, or POV. It’s 3rd person omniscient, alternating most often between a few of the main characters but there are many more total points of view. It’s nice, although I did wish it were a bit more about Roberta.
I would also like to remark that the accents are done very well. I couldn’t quite pronounce all of the words, but I got the gist of what was being said and having been in Great Britain it seems realistic enough. (The words were spelled phonetically.) I also felt that it was rather historically accurate, even though the general treatment of women and the poor was a bit frustrating at times. So glad society has advanced, at least where I live.
All in all, this is an entertaining and satisfying tale. I like very much the characters and the historical element of it, and how it seems one moment like a romance and the next moment not—more like the various bits of romance are interwoven with the rest of the story, like in real life.
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