WHIP SMART Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards by Kit Brennan, Review

WHIP SMART Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards Synopsis: 

Whip Smart, Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards by Kit Brennan

A wild and sexy romp through history based on the real-life adventures of the audacious, Lola Montez.It is 1842, London, and the gorgeous, ever-capricious twenty-two year old Eliza Gilbert, (aka Lola Montez) is in deep trouble and seeks escape from a divorce trial. Desperate to be free, Lola accepts an alluring offer of a paid trip to Spain, if she will only fulfill a few tasks for Juan de Grimaldi — a Spanish theatre impresario who is also a government agent and spy for the exiled Spanish queen, Maria Cristina. Lola soon finds herself in Madrid, undercover as a performer in a musical play. But when she falls dangerously in love with the target, General Diego de Léon — the “perfect Spanish soldier, lover and horseman” — Lola becomes a double agent and the two hatch a plot of their own. Disaster strikes when the plot is exposed, Diego is captured, and Lola is forced to flee on horseback to France, with a dangerous group of Loyalists in hot pursuit.

Will Lola’s reckless daring, feminine whiles, and signature whip be enough to save her life and preserve her cause? She will have to be more whip smart than ever.

Written with zest and a passionate, fiery fervor by debut author Kit Brennan, Whip Smart irresistibly whisks readers into a vivid journey through 19th Century, France, England and Spain, riding sidesaddle with Eliza Gilbert, the hot-headed Irish girl, as she transforms into Dona Maria Dolores de Porris y Montez — aka Lola Montez, the sensation of Europe!

Ebook: October 2012, Paperback: January 2013

Genre: Action-Adventure, Drama, Historical, Romance, Thriller

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We are first introduced to our seemingly flighty and flirtatious protagonist Lola Montez when she’s found herself in a spot of bother, in custody being questioned about her escapades in Spain. Her tale is then recounted in flashbacks. While this storytelling framework can often be pedestrian, it is not in this execution. Brennan’s storytelling is hot blooded and compelling. I was hooked.

As the story unfolds we quickly realise there is much more to Eliza Gilbert than that shown to the world. Her troubled past has taught her many valuable life lessons. Those who under-estimate the street smarts and sheer will and determination of this heroine, do so at their own peril.

Everything that has come before has led me to this, to the new life I’ve created for myself. I put my hands to my hot cheeks, considering my options. And my resolve begins to rise again: After all, there’s no going back. That story is dead; this one’s alive. I have a quick mind and a certain wit. I’m young, I’m strong. Like a cat, thrown from a four-storey building, I can twist and turn and land on my legs. That’s my luck and my talent; it’s what I’m good at.

With gorgeous historical detail oozing from the pages of Whip Smart, Kit Brennan takes readers on a thrilling back seat ride with Lola Montez on her escapades in 19th century Europe.

Lola is one of the most unconventional, yet likeable heroines I have read in some time. She has been compared to Evita Peron, but more sassy and flamboyant. If this fictional imagining of this woman’s life is anywhere close to the reality, she really was a lady well ahead of her time.

Now, although quite giddy with nerves and hunger, I was also realizing that I had unexpectedly entered a swashbuckling adventure and that I was going to  be allowed, even encouraged, for the first time in my life to behave with the energy, fervour, and spark that has always animated me. Although women are trained from infancy to believe themselves the weaker sex, I have always had difficulty accepting this dogma.

Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards by Kit Brennan is a colourful page turner that had me enthralled. I look forward to reading the next instalment in the adventures of the audacious Lola Montez, from this talented author.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5

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I have also since enjoyed the next two titles in this series: Lola Montez and the Poisoned Nom de Plume, Lola Montez Starts a Revolution

About the Author, Kit Brennan

Kit Brennan was born in Vancouver and grew up in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is a nationally produced award-winning playwright, and teaches playwriting and storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.  The Victorian era and its personalities have always been a big interest for Kit.  Her play Tiger’s Heart explores the life of Dr. James Barry, who was a woman who lived her life disguised as a man in order to practice medicine, which was not an option open to women at the time.  Kit divides her time between the vibrant city of Montreal and the quiet wilds and beautiful lakes of Ontario with her husband Andrew and a variety of animal friends.  Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards is her first novel. Check out Kit Brennan’s official website

* My receiving this book free from Astor+Blue did not affect my ability to express my honest opinions in this review.