Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: The White Swan Affair by Elyse Mady

Published: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 255
Received: for review via blog tour
Buy Now: Amazon
ADULT CONTENT - contains some scenes that may be offensive 

London, 1810
After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay–but she doesn’t fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor’s sister.
With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he can’t get the plain-spoken and desirable Hester out of his mind, even though she’s never tried to secure his attentions as other women do.
Everything changes the night Hester’s brother is arrested during a raid on a gay brothel, the infamous White Swan. With no one else to turn to, and terrified Robert will hang for his crime, Hester accepts Thomas’s offer to bear the cost of the defense. A true gentleman, Thomas expects nothing in return–but Hester is no longer able to deny her own desires…
She may offer her body eagerly, but can she protect her heart?

Going into this novel, I had no idea that the White Swan was an actual place or that Robert Aspinall was a real man charged with the very crimes mentioned in this story. It was fascinating to read the section at the end that mentions which parts of the story were real and which were fictional. Ms. Mady has given a colourful and interesting life to Mr. Aspinall, regardless that some of the characters and backgrounds were fictional. 

I will say at first the story really revolves around Hester Aspinall, but honestly by the end of the story I realize how Robert comes to play into the story a little bit more. Hester is a woman who has seen much heartbreak and loss in the past and upon learning her brothers fate of being arrested for some unnatural offense, she throws all of her spirit and energy into finding him and freeing him. She is quite the heroine with fierce determination and love for her brother in his time of need.

I found the romance between Hester and Thomas a little drawn out, but given the circumstances surrounding their meeting and eventual courtship, I suppose it was to be expected. Their romance is one of those where they each are falling in love with the other, but neither has figured it out yet. Sometimes I find those kinds of relationships very frustrating to read, but this time I found it was surrounded by so much question and uncertainty due to her brothers incarceration that perhaps it was warranted that they each are a little more reserved in just putting their feelings out there, lest they be refused. 

The part I loved the most was Hester's acceptance of her brother, regardless whether he is innocent or guilty. She loves him for who he is not for what he has done. Robert himself shows the most growth as a character. He has big challenges to face in his life, some of which could be much worse outside of prison. He learns acceptance and it's many forms - acceptance of self, self love and being true to one's self.

In the end both, Hester and Robert, seem to find their happily ever afters, but I will leave that to the readers to find out how each finally finds their happiness. So much happens in this book to make you question what will really happen to them all.


 You could win a eBook from any of Elyse’s previous works 
or The White Swan Affair(open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:
Elyse Mady is the author of “Learning Curves”, “The Debutante’s Dilemma”, “Something So Right” and “The White Swan Affair”, with Carina Press. She blogs at http://www.elysemady.com. You can also find her on Twitter at @elysemady and Goodreads.
In addition to her writing commitments, Elyse also teaches film and literature at a local community college. In her free time she enjoys (well, enjoys might be too strong a word – perhaps pursues with dogged determination would be better) never ending renovations on their century home with her intrepid husband and two boys.
With her excellent writerly imagination, she one day dreams of topping the NY Times Bestseller’s List and reclaiming her pre-kid body without the bother of either sit-ups or the denunciation of ice-cream.



  1. Congrats on the newest release!! Thanks for a great review. I have to admit that I was first attracted to the cover and now I'm really interested :)

    1. Oh I hope you like it, because it was a really interesting read. :0


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