Blog Tour: A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding (Review!)

Summery/Cover Image from Publisher's Website
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

I love, love, love pretty covers, and Annabel Fielding's A Pearl for My Mistress has one of the prettiest covers I've seen in the last few months. It gives a historical fiction feel, and better yet, it has an eye-catching tagline: "Forbidden passion in the shadow of war..." Intriguing, right?!

Thus, when I was offered the chance to be part of the blog tour for this newly released book, I automatically gave Annabel a big yes. I couldn't wait to dive into the 1930s and the world of Hester Blake and Lady Lucy. 

The result? Lush, romantic, and beautifully written, A Pearl for My Mistress brings to life a part of history that is not often discussed. 

There's a lot to enjoy about A Pearl for My Mistress. One of the parts I found to be the most interesting was the level of history Annabel Fielding included. A great deal of this book involves Lady Lucy not only investigating and reporting on on the fascist movement in England lead by Oswald Mosley but also becoming involved in the affairs of the British Union of Fascists (BUF). I love history, but this area was surprisingly something I knew very little about. I thought Annabel did a great job of bringing this time to life, and more importantly, I liked how she showed two sides it: Lady Lucy who was in most sense all for the Fascist movement and Hester who was in most ways against it. It evened out the book well, and it also cased for some interesting drama between the two leading characters, especially as Lucy became more and more intertwined within the movement. 

In addition to history, Annabel Fielding also did a great job of establishing the setting in A Pearl for My Mistress. From the tumbling and sprawling Northern Estate of Lady Lucy's family to mystery and intrigue found in London's streets and houses, each setting was beautifully depicted it. It was easy to feel as if I was right there with Hester and Lady Lucy, and I loved that feeling. 

Now for the characters....I found Hester and Lady Lucy to be interesting. Hester was very used to having a simple life, and through having Lady Lucy as her mistress, Hester got just that: a place to live, books to read, and a handful of people to call friends. Additionally, Hester was incredibly steadfast to Lucy, to her sister Sophia, and to the people she became friends with as the novel progressed. I admired this loyalty and devoutness Hester possessed, but at the same time, sometimes I wish she would have more feistiness in her, to call out Lucy and her sister when they were being ridiculous. Lady Lucy, on the other hand, was someone who appeared physically weak, but mentally she was anything but that. Lucy was cunning, conniving, and incredibly strong-willed  I couldn't always predict her actions, and I liked that about her, because sometimes you just need the unpredictability. 

Bringing Lucy and Hester together in a romantic sense brought about an interesting dynamic. Often times I had a hard time distinguishing if it was in fact "true love" or nearly a power play on Lucy's part, and that caused for some interesting suspense as well as surprise as the novel progressed.  

However, I did have one problem with the characters: I just could not connect to them. Don't get me wrong I liked them and I enjoyed getting to know them better. But I never really felt a grand connection, never really came to love them or be able to call them a "favorite," but still to all their own...I'm sure many readers will be able to connect to them easily! 

In all, A Pearl for My Mistress is an elegant read, prefect for history fanatics who are looking to get lost in another time! I look forward to seeing what Annabel writes about next. 

Grade: B+ 

A Pearl for My Mistress is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by Publisher for blog tour - thanks HarperCollins! 

Buy Links: 

About the Author: 
Annabel Fielding, having graduated from the University of Arts London with an MA in Public Relations, is a PR assistant by day and a novelist by night. Being a self-professed history geek, she dedicates her free time to obscure biographies, solo travel and tea. She also posts a mix of book reviews and travel photos on her blog at http://historygeekintown.com 

Author Links: 


  1. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy this book Lauren despite not being able to connect with the characters. The way the setting was set up sounds true fantastic though! Thank you for your honest review!

  2. This sounds like a lovely story and I do agree that the cover is gorgeous. Too bad you didn't connect with the characters though. Great review!


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