A story of the House of Guelph (Hanover) when the English throne lingered at a far distance like a dim star.Seventeenth century Germany, France and England, are places where love takes a backseat to power — power over people and places. Beautiful Eléonore is deeply in love with George William, heir of a German duchy, and he with her. But he hides a secret that makes a legaA story of the House of Guelph (Hanover) when the English throne lingered at a far distance like a dim star.Seventeenth century Germany, France and England, are places where love takes a backseat to power — power over people and places. Beautiful Eléonore is deeply in love with George William, heir of a German duchy, and he with her. But he hides a secret that makes a legal marriage impossible. George William’s younger brother, Ernest, and his own bride are desperate to block George William’s marriage. If George William never has any male heirs by a legal marriage, then Ernest’s sons will inherit George William’s lands and holdings. There are other brothers wanting land too. The brothers’ plots against each other are only half of it. King Louis XIV of France has designs on German territory and aims to take it by force.Courtesans, all the fashion in France, now sprout like mushrooms in a German forest. None is more ambitious than Klara, forced to return to her homeland from the Court of King Louis. Her version of love is monetary.The layered schemes of the upper crust make life treacherous for their powerless offspring, especially young Sophia Dorothea, who must smother her heart’s yearnings and yield to the cold commands of her elders or suffer serious consequences.Playing with Fire weaves together the threads of greed, lust, honour and brutality at the dawn of the Industrial age....
|Title||:||Playing with Fire|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||230 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Playing with Fire Reviews
Set in 17th Century Germany, this historical fiction is based on the real life of Duchess Sophia of Hanover, heiress to the English throne, whose son George went on to become George I. Using historical sources and letters written by Sophia (known as Bernadette in this novel), the author reconstructed the events that led to Sophia's marriage and the promise from her husband Ernest's older brother George William that he would not marry so that her children would inherit. George William would eventually marry his partner, Elanore to legitimise his daughter, Sophia Dorothea who in turn would marry her cousin George and become the mother of George II of England.This was a fascinating period of history and it was interesting to read of the intrigues and spies in the German court. Women were not free to marry for love but for political and financial gain but they were very much in charge behind the scenes manipulating their men and using their charms and sexual favours to influence others. Sharon Robards does done a great job of bringing this period to life and re-imagining the courts of Sophia and Elanore. 3.5★
Three and a half starsThose who like historical novels, particularly set in the 17th century of Germany and France, should enjoy this tale. This is a book about power and what people will endure to achieve it. It is a book about love, and how it sometimes has to be set aside, or at least appear to be, for more practical matters. The book has a lot of information about court life and courtesans who trade favours for greater financial gain or security. Much of it is political posturing. Marriages of convenience are made with no thought to love, as Sophia Dorothea discovers. This is a well-researched read of a period of time and place not often dealt with, I suspect, in historical novels. It is certainly is an eye opener to what goes on in court and the intrigues of men and women. It made me glad I never lived in such a time or class of society such as this. I loved Sharon's earlier book Unforgivable. I didn't react quite as emotively to this one, but that could be chiefly because I am not a huge historical reader, and wasn't as involved with the characters and the practices of courts and nobility. Still it was an interesting read. My thanks go to the author who gifted me an advanced reading copy in return for a review. Anyone who has a fascination with historical novels should find this a captivating read. I absolutely loved the cover.
An interesting historical story of a German Dynasty that would eventually rule England. Two royal brothers tussle for power and their wives and children have no rights at all. I was really interested in learning about the origins of George 1 of England and the machinations of his childhood. I felt so sorry for the main female characters who just had to do as they were told - their lives at the whim of brother, husband, church and government.
1665 and the beautiful Eléonore d’Olbreusc was on her way to meet Duke George William at Iburg Palace. She had been travelling for a week in the company of Madame Pfeiffer and the woman was driving her to distraction with all her chatter. The carriage was uncomfortable; she was desperate to arrive but also unsure if she would want to stay. Duke Ernest was George William’s brother, and married to the Duchess Bernadette – seven years prior a pact had been signed which meant George William could never marry. His love for Eléonore was great; as was hers for him – but marriage was never to be.As the years passed, Eléonore gave birth to Sophia Dorothea; George William’s love for his illegitimate daughter would not be surpassed. Eléonore’s happiness was tempered by their inability to be married while Duchess Bernadette’s hatred of the French “nobody” was well known. Ernest dalliances were tolerated as Bernadette knew he would always return to her... Meanwhile war was beckoning – brutality was rife; death was fast. The power of the land; of money and greed meant more to most than love. What would be the outcome for Eléonore and George William; for Bernadette and Ernest – and for Sophia Dorothea?Playing With Fire by Aussie author Sharon Robards is another intriguing historical fiction novel to add to her previous titles, which I’ve loved. The lives of people in the seventeenth century were horrendous; dictated by the upper class, money and titles. The illegitimate children suffered the most – owning nothing; being nobody and never understanding why. Sophia Dorothea was an endearing child and my favourite character. I enjoyed Playing With Fire very much, and highly recommend it to all lovers of the genre.With thanks to the author for this uncorrected proof to read in exchange for my honest review.
Seventeenth century Europe and the continent is one big power play for a group of ambitious men with power in their sights. Among them are brothers, George William and his younger brother Ernest. George is the heir to the German duchy and is in love with the beautiful Eléonore. But due to arrangements made with his brother and the question of his mistresses legitimacy they can not be married .For Ernest and his bride Bernadette, there is pure politics at work in their desire to stop his brother getting married. If George fails to have a son by legal marriage then Ernest's male heirs will inherit George's lands and property. Behind the brothers, both Bernadette and Eléonore do their best to support the men they love while knowing their place. In this time, women are expected to be loyal while men of power are free to seek out any number of courtesans. One of those is the Klara, who despite being married, sets her sights on Ernest in her own bid to facilitate her own wealth.Caught in the middle of all this is Eléonore's daughter Sophia who soon learns that her parent's wishes for her future marriage are set in stone and going against them is dangerous business. Her own desires are ruthlessly stopped by her elders as she learns a harsh lesson about the world she lives in. In this age, men rule with an iron fist but the women are not shy on ambition. They know marriages are not about love but instead about political convenience and will use every trick in the book to enhance their standing. Lust, hubris, chivalry, and barbarity are the order of the day in this sweeping fictional telling of a little snippet of European history that has mostly been ignored by historians. Overall this is a fascinating novel that is a must-read for historical fiction fans.
I received this novel as a review copy and ouch! Am I glad to be a 21st Century woman especially when I finished reading the story. Set in what is now Germany in the 17thC this is the story of those wretched power seeking men, brothers in fact, rulers of small Duchies, who want to enlarge their power base by ousting each other. Love takes a back seat in marriages and no dirty trick is taboo. What they try to do to each other is despicable and some of the woman are as bad. It is fascinating reading watching all the machinations and of course the reader is cheering for Sophia Dorothea, who we watch grow up and see her forced into marriage with a nasty bit work because it is politically advisable. It's a good job she's a stroppy lass and we can see that she will break free in the end. And oh how infuriating that the men could have courtesans and lovers but the women were disgraced if they had a lover.A fascinating read about a little written part of history.
Three and a half stars.. my review is already up on Goodreads. So not sure why it is not showing it.