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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Have You Read Miranda Neville Yet?




Have You Read Miranda Neville Yet? 


Excerpt 

"Is there anyone in particular you'd like to meet?" Tessa tossed down her glass of champagne in a single gulp to give her courage. While she was here she might as well take care of some business. 

"Pray present me to Lord Allerton," she requested, Anything to avoid Max Hawthorne, who, out of the corner of her eye, she could see in conversation with the Marquess of Somerville and another gentleman.

 Jacobin stopped behind Max and tapped on his black-clad shoulder. "Excuse me for interrupting," she said. 'please allow me to present you to my cousin, Signora Foscari. Tessa, this is Lord Allerton.'

Tessa wasn't sure how she managed to retain enough self-assurance to curtsey. Only years of experience in the public arena prevented her from gaping like an idiot at the discovery that the enormously wealthy impresario of London's new opera house was also her former love. Panic seized her throat and she doubted she was capable of uttering a single word. 

Apparently, he was not so affected. He looked down at her with maddening self assurance. '
"Mrs. Foscari and I have met." he said in a voice that would freeze morning chocolate.

Review

Miranda Neville’s Secrets of a Soprano is a fabulous second chance romance. Opera singer Teresa “Tessa” Foscari and Lord Allerton, Max Hawthorne, fell in love eleven years ago in Portugal. Unbeknownst to the couple, Max’s mother Lady Clarissa initiated the misunderstanding that caused the couple to separate. Max believes that Tessa was after his inheritance and Tessa has not been able to forgive Max for leaving her waiting for him at the churchyard for hours.


The misunderstanding was the catalyst in Tessa’s decision to pursue her career as an opera singer and to marry Domenico Foscari, her manager. Ms. Neville has created a superb villain in the character of Domenico Foscari. Even though Domenico has died, his presence is felt throughout the entire novel. I loved that Ms. Neville had Domenico create Tessa’s persona of La Divina, the mysterious, perfectly costumed opera star who wore a diamond necklace that was rumored to be a gift from the Tsar. La Divina was known for throwing china when she was angry and it was assumed by all that she was loved by her husband and very wealthy.

Penniless, Tessa has travelled to London to sing at the Tavistock Opera. She meets Max, now known as Lord Allerton, at a society gathering. Max insults Tessa who becomes upset and throws a goblet of wine at him which splatters all over his suit. Everyone witnesses the argument. The characters of Tessa and Max resonated with me. I appreciated that Tessa knew she had to work to support herself and to become her own person; not the character that her late husband created. Tessa made a poor choice when she married her husband. He was a good manger, not a loyal husband. There was no love or respect in their marriage. Tessa understands that she needs to work to stay on top of her financial situation. She makes several questionable choices as she learns how to manage her career and provide for her employees.

Max’s interest in all things opera intensified after his relationship with Tessa ended. He travelled abroad and visited many opera theaters before he built his own opera house in London, the Regent. Tessa’s sold out performances at the rival Tavistock theater have impacted Max’s theater in a negative way. Another misunderstanding between the couple impacts Tessa financially. Ms. Neville is known for writing excellent dialogue and the scenes between Max and Tessa sizzle off the pages in this novel. Even after eleven years, their attraction is very powerful and the author does a fabulous job with pacing of the couple’s relationship.

Loved that the novel took place in London and that most of the plot revolved around the Tavistock and the Regent opera houses. The competition between the theaters was intense and I loved that Tessa and Max worked for rival theaters. This element worked well within the storyline. The secondary characters are well -defined and add to the plotline. Loved Lady Clarissa and Simon Lindo and their relationship with Max. Secrets of a Soprano is an engaging novel that has several unexpected plot twists. Max and Tessa’s romance captivated me and I wondered if they could forgive each other’s past mistakes.

The ending of the novel was perfect---Kudos to Miranda Neville for another fabulous novel!


Reviewed by: Susan Gorman
Edited by: Jennifer McGee
ARC provided by the author.


Check out Susan's other reviews of Miranda Neville books. 

Dancing in the Duke's Arms link to review here. . 


Christmas in the Dukes Arms link to review here



At The Billionaire's Wedding link to review here.


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