“Never judge a book by its cover, unless there’s a gown on it.”
Genre: Historical Romance.
Much like a game of chess; this tale has moves, and counter moves. Is it checkmate, or stalemate? Read the book to experience the final play!
Although a woman in days when women were mostly property, Splendor finds a self chosen path. She will marry Gabe, the man of her breast’s heart. He will become a man of the cloth. Together they will help the poor.
Enter: the Earl of Stillmore, a chessboard, two Kings, two Queens, four Bishops, four Rooks, four Knights and sixteen Pawns.
Shehanne’s characters are vivid, interesting and all with purpose. I particularly adore the settings she recreates of time and place. I’m amused by the very appropriate, and humorously creative names Shehanne has given her characters. All throughout the novel her wry sense of humour prevails, but never assails nor assuages.
The thing is, it is romance. It’s romance with all the ardour lovers find in love’s wake. The main scene of passion is quite worth the reading and waiting for. It reaches just a tad deliciously beyond cutting to waves crashing on rocks, fireworks or a volcano erupting.
Furthermore, the Art Gown in me feels a hearty prick of the needle at the main peril Splendor puts herself in. Drawn like a moth to the flame of fine silk every time she passes Madame Renare’s shop and without means, Splendor finds herself sinking deeper into debt. T’is dire! The turnkey of the debtor’s prison workhouse is upon her doorstep.
“In italicized quotations” are excerpts from the book.
“Mrs. Ferret set the beribboned hair comb Splendor had found impossible to resist, the robin’s egg blue one with the tiny cream rosettes attached,”
A bill is presented:
“She had spent a little money, it was true. She hadn’t meant to, but now she was back in credit again. Why shouldn’t she have the odd this and that?”
Splendor is a Fashionista:
“she had perhaps gone a little far with the silk parasol and the shoes to match, but if she hadn’t, Topaz would have stolen them and ended up in Newgate. Then there was the matter of just how respectful Madame Renare had been when she’d seen the address and the name, the new one she’d furnished herself with. Lady Winterborne, Countess of Stillmore.”
Although unrequited, Splendor retains her arrogant impudence:
“And that comb, this peignoir, the new day dress with the lace insert in the bodice, were all very nice. Too nice to leave feeling neglected in the shop. And the comb had been reduced by half a guinea. She had saved him half a guinea by buying it.”
❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦
I needed to ask Shehanne, whose blog runs the tagline “Smexy Historical Romance”, a few questions.
1. What does SMEXY mean?
A…an easy one this. It means smart and sexy which I like to think my heroines are even though they can behave incredibly stupidly at times.
2. Where does the historical location inspiration come from… the castles and halls near where you live?
I squirrel. I find locations and ideas everywhere. With Loving Lady Lazuli– another book in the series–it was from visiting Mount Grace Priory, especially the monk’s cell there. It’s in Yorkshire actually and not what we’d know as a cell either. Catterton House in Splendor was based on a Georgian cottage where I then lived in Newport-On-Tay, except it wasn’t a cottage. It was a mansion build down the cliff face.
3. London Jewel Thieves – Where will I be able to read the ongoing serial?
As we speak Loving Lady Lazuli which features Sapphire as the heroine and Ruby and Pearl as her sidekicks, is being formatted for kindle.. Now I have my rights back to this series I will be giving you the stories of Diamond, Jade and Amber. I may even yet turn Ruby into a heroine. I have an idea there.
Shehanne Moore is an author who writes historical romance novels. If you visit her Home Page , you will find out about all of her books.
Take some time to visit Shehanne’s Blog Page, and you will realize that a very cute Pack of Hamsters have hijacked her book reviews, interviews and other relevant endeavours. If you haven’t visited her blog, you should. You will enjoy the Hamsters & get to read a fab post! As crazy as it seems, I was inspired to draw a Hamster in a hamster gown, Hamstor Splendor. I hope Shehanne & all of her Hamster pals enjoy it!
You can pre-order “Splendor” in ebook format, on Amazon! It comes out October 1, 2018, with a hard copy following soon after.
Click on “Splendor” to pre- order!
98 thoughts on “Splendor – by Shehanne Moore”
A beautiful review of this gorgeous book Resa. An amazing and creative writer Shehanne surely has a huge success on her hands!
I surely hope so! It is quite the neat tale.
Okay, the gown on the cover is an AG delight, but the story is an equal follow.
Cheers to Shehanne!
You designed the cover gown? I didnt catch that. WoW its gorgeous!
That cover is gorgeous. IDuh, I just noticed on twitter that is your creation. Stunning!!!♥️
I tried to find that on Twitter. My notifications page only had 1 page with a swirling circle at the bottom. I’ll have to return later.
I adore your enthusiasm about my work.
However, you were right the first time. I read the book because there was a gown on the cover, and I like Shehanne. I did not make the gown. It is stunning! I was rewarded, because the book is very good.
Twitter is like gossip. It’s too, fast and too, brief.
My next Art Gown will put it to rest. I’m about 1/2 the way in.
SO… fab idea! After this current gown, I am doing a White Cat Wedding Gown to be dedicated to GiGi.
We are talking a post 6 months away. Perhaps you would be interested in penning, or donating an appropriate poem for the post? I’d love it, and I’m sure it would be a perfect surprise for Gi.
Just a thought!
Sending love to you, dear Holly!
Sounds like a very interesting book.
I love the cover. ❤️
Lol… got me moments in terms of interesting BUT main thing??? the graphic designer made this cover x
It’s definitely a classy and beautiful cover.
I’m a big fan of the historical romance genre so between the genre and the cover, I’d probably want to read the book.
xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Btw…love your name!! I am a big fan of Dracula.
It is a very interesting book! ❤
The cover is gorgeous, truly Art Gowns….. but the book is better!! Thank you, Dracul!
You’re welcome. 😃
Resa, you are an angel
Very interesting read! I really enjoy the history of it. The gown is beautiful
I got that image very reasonably and the even more reasonable graphic designer did the an amazing job.
The story is quite erudite.
The gown on the cover of the book is totally sumptuous!
Art Gowns is in love with it! TY, for visiting! 💚
Resa!!! I can’t stop laughing and crying at this review and blog xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx you. I LOVE and I don’t where to start thanking you for your kindness
PS I think I mailed you privately to say that when it comes to certain a\ction in books this one is my one with the least because of where they were both weer and needed to be as people xxxxxxxxx
Laugh, cry and everything in between! I truly enjoyed this book. I know many others will.
You may think I am kind. Well, I think so, too. LOL! However, here on Art Gowns, we have a definite agenda.
It is to promote love of planet, and kindness for the well being of all through true beauty.
I am not speaking of the beauty we are physically born with. I speak through the beauty of creativity.
Art Gowns are my creative expressions, and each is an ambassador to a charitable cause. Splendor echos that expression.
It has been my honour to have you here!
I am so honoured to be here. SO touched. Truly. I love your gowns…indeed I worship at their feet, so effortlessly beautiful. (Although I bet they weren’t effortless to create.) And I’m thrilled you loved the book. I had a lot of fun creating Splendor. x
I can tell you had fun creating her. I’ve written a couple of books, and if you love your characters the story comes easier.
I’ve started my new gown! Today will be a day to gather the skirt. As I sew them completely by hand,(just like in Splendor’s day) it does take some time. xoxoxo
That is what I mean by effortless. It’s very clear that these gowns would have to be done by hand but you see them and just think Wow, as if you’d waved a magic wand only. Totally agree re loving your characters. I fancied doing something a little lighter with her when I wrote her. In some ways she seems much more …okay, I will just do this and avoid the hassle in order to get where I’m going, than my other ladies but in terms of the scrapes she gets into, she’s actually probably worse than them.
Well, I adore Splendor! The scrapes are fab. They add plot, and they help build character! I also like when she rationalizes with herself.
Sounds like a great read, I love historical romance novels! 🙂
It’s probably a tad mad but thank you x
Splendor is a lot of fun, but with trials and tribulations., as any worthy romance should be! 😀
Yes, I’m sure!😊
The hamstah dudes will reblog this tomorrow x
A great review, Resa; if this doesn’t awaken the romance within, nothing will… 🙂
Yes, the gown is simply gorgeous; it certainly tells a tale of what is to come within the pages of Splendor! And the little Hamster looks stunning in her romantic era Art Gown.
All the best, Shehanne!
Thank you so much Carolyn. There’s a lot of different bits to this book, that choosing a cover was difficult. Would I go with the chess theme, the duel she fights, the fact she masquerades as a man to enter that chess comp, the real world she inhabits, the glittering one that sways her from that, him her, or the emotional tug where she is involved with this other guy she’s known for years…the Buttons character sort of thing. Then I saw this image on a page of period images for book jackets and I thought…there it is…go with what the title is because the title is the name she gives herself and the way she sees herself. Also make the series, the woman only on the cover as branding. So I am delighted with the response the cover is getting. And I do love the hamstah gown and willb e showing it off on my blog later today x
My goodness, Shehanne: What a woman is Splendor! A real life femme fatale with oomph and je ne sais quoi. I love her! 🙂
I was saying to Resa, she’s actually one of my least threatening heroines. And yet? That’s just on the surface… x
Hello Carolyn! 😀 It was a very romantic story! 🧡
Lol! it’s a good thing I don’t have a pet hamster, or I would surely try making a gown for it!
Oh come now, Resa; that shouldn’t stop you!!!
Hahaaaa… I’d love to see that. I know it would be a Splendorous thing to behold… 🙂
I only have cats. Hmm, they seem to have hidden as I’m typing this. Mind you, Jeep would look fabulous in a cat gown! 😀 xoxoxo
Hahaaaa… Now, that’s an idea.. Jeep would look wonderful……. 🙂
She knew you’d say that! 😀
Lol. That would be brilliant.
What great fun and what a splendid review. Just wonderful. The dress is beautiful and I love everything about it. Great post. The hamster will definitely be the belle of the ball.
I love the hamster. I will be showing her off later on my blog. And on facebook tomorrow. It’s wonderful being here. I’m a huge fan of Resa’s gorgeous gowns. Thank you so much for the lovely comment x
Apparently Hamstor Splendor is having a coming out today!! I’m so excited for her. 😀
I love that gown on the cover, and the book lived up to it!
I have reblogged and set the dudes to have amoan. I think Bobby B is somewhat taken with this new lady…..
Love the reblog!! Thank you, Shehanne!
This sounds like a story which should have gorgeous dress illustrations on every second page! Oh wait, maybe the clothes will come to life if someone makes the book into a movie, like Outlander sort of thing. 😉
Sounds like a fab idea! “Outgowner” A series about a seamstress who makes gowns for people of all different times and places. Through a mystic cloud created by aliens, people travel through time to have her make the most important gown they will ever wear.
😀 Just an idea! 😀
I love it!!!
Lol, Splendor should write her own illustrated fashion book. She would lace it with all her shopaholic tips. x
Sounds fun! Maybe one day you’ll have a story about a seamstress. Perhaps you already do? xx
Oh. I might xxx
Wonderful review, Resa, and a stunning gown! You are a star! xx
Inese, lovely to see you. I said so last night but my net crashed as per usual x
Just love Splendor’s gown!! Working away on Art Gown 21 now!
You rock Resa! xx
Cool interview, Resa and Shey! I already read Splendor and loved it. I hope more and more people check it out. It’s a very clever, funny and smexy romance. xoxo
Carolee xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to see you. Love you latest and will review it today x
Splendid comment! (Couldn’t resist) xoxo
I love a Smexy heroine! And I once again gaze in awe of all the dresses created you have pictured on your right margin of your blog. Very Smexy! A glamorous Fantasy indeed. Nice work Resa!
Aren’t the most beautiful gowns?
Oh they are. They are so much more than beautiful I think…
TY, so very much!
And nice work to: Shehanne for her choice of gown for her book cover.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Spotted on a period images for book covers site x
TY, OL3d! Shehanne’s heroines are is where the Smexy began! I just discovered it in Splendor!
I have now made 20 Art Gowns, and am working on 21.
Go girl GO!!
Ohhh it’s all so exciting to see my favorite ladies here. SMEXY is what I’d say your minds are ~ smart and sexy 🙂 Well done with this feature, Resa, and to Shey I say “you’re awesome!” ~ Oh heck you’re both awesome xo
Ses the fabulously awesome one. Amazingly talented and a sweetheart with it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
😀 TY, Christy! You’re awesome, too! I’d say were all pretty Smexy!! xo
Beautiful and very well deserved feature. Love to both of you, Re and She 😘👍
Thank you, dear Aq! 🦄💜Love to you, too! ❤️🌹💙🌹💚🌹🧡🌹
Love to you my angel! I am fair thrilled to be here on this gorgeous blog. Resa couldn’t resist a gown! And boy am I glad xxxxxxx
Love the cover of the book…and the gown is a perfection. 🙂
Hello Charlie! It is pretty great! I’ll be over to visit you soon!
🙂 Your gowns are a perfection and true art. 🙂
Glad you love the cover. Makes it all worthwhile to get comments like this x
Fantastic cover Shey and thanks Resa for the review.. the dress is stunning.
I love a good gown! I was lured in by the gown, and the book was even better!
I agree… a great gown makes all the difference.
EeeYaa! I make all of my Art Gowns out of trash. Their components are up-cycled, or from the bargain bin outside or at the back of the shop.
I’ve used wine corks, pics from books, old men’s ties and rags I wanted to throw in the garbage.
The only thing I allow myself at retail is paint. I have painted several now.
Although I do not sell my Art Gowns, I’m hoping one day they will sell as art.
The Art Gowns don’t write books, but they read like a book. 😀
They are amazing Resa and all the more because of your use of up-cycled elements.. and I hope that they sell too… wonderful. xx
Thank you! xx
Thank you Sally. I’m so pleased that people seem to like the cover. After searching high thinking what bit of the book should be reflected here, chess, duelling, her masquerading as a man, the Cinderella on the stairs at midnight bit. Then I saw this and thought… how she sees herself even down to the fact her name is plain old Dora, and the glittering world that does ensnare her. Here it is. But obvi till a cover is out there you have no idea how it will pass muster.
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A fabulous post about Shey’s book.
Thank you! I’m so glad you like it. Shey wrote a very neat story!!
Thank You Robbiie. Must say Resa has done a great job. There’s even a Splendor hamster..
You’ve a great blog!
Thank you! It’s all about love , really, through the beauty of gowns that no one can buy, yet.
I’m being picky to the nth degree!
Resa has a delicious blog. I LOVE her gowns.
What a great review (and luscious gown on the cover). And… I love your hamster drawing! 🙂
Thank you! I admit, the covered lured me in. It was a fab read. Shehanne is a wonderful writer, and I love the historic element. Looking forward to the riddle resolve! 🙃
Oh, yeah, I never drew a hamster before, but I’m quite happy with it. 🤩
All that’s missing from Splendor’s
glorious attire is a glass slipper.
Or did that too end up in Newgate?
Perhaps the glass slipper did end up there! 😀
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A gorgeous gown, and a fun book to read!
How elegant Resa. So well designed!
I just love the cover!!!! The gown is stunning.