Historical fiction is a genre I’ve been really enjoying recently. It’s one that often combines with others and can lead to a complex and powerful story because of this. I’m particularly enjoying historical fiction romances right now, too. The historical element helps to add many extra layers to an already romantic and interesting plot. I haven’t read many Regency romance books, which made reading The Trouble With Tigers by Kimberley Keyes even more exciting as it’s a love story set in Regency-era London.
***AD: This post features press samples but all thoughts are my own***
“When Lord Zeke Thurgood, grandson to the Earl of Claybourne, returns to London following a trip abroad, he’s flummoxed by his grandfather’s new young servant, Kit. He’s not only woefully inadequate, he’s odd. Witness Kit’s penchant for staring at Zeke like a cat eyes a pot of fresh cream.
Lady Kitty Hastings had begun to think hiding as a boy servant would keep her safe from her guardian. Enter Lord Zeke Thurgood. Magnificent, maddening Zeke whose grousing unwittingly leads Kitty’s nemesis straight to her.
Zeke is still reeling over Kitty’s true identity when he lands in the role of her fake fiancé. Emphasis on fake. Zeke’s plans don’t include marriage, much less staying in England. Only after Kitty assures him he’s not the man for her does it dawn on him—Kitty’s irresistible mix of courage, determination, and charm is exactly what he’s been missing. Now he’ll need to convince her they’re a perfect match, or lose the best thing that ever happened to him. “
(Taken from Goodreads)
The Trouble With Tigers immediately piqued my interest with the concept of main character Kitty having to hide her gender. It’s an interesting storyline to follow, especially within a romance, and of course adds so much complexity to Kitty’s relationship with Zeke, who is untrustworthy and disdainful of Kitty in her male get-up. The two of them are like chalk and cheese at the beginning… Zeke a serious and quite intimidating Lord, with Kitty having to completely quash her feisty and feminine charms as she pretends to be the meek and underwhelming Kit.
The main focus of the book is how their relationship develops, and it’s an exciting and tantalising journey with many twists and turns. Sexual tension builds up well and we get to experience the progression of this through both Kitty’s and Zeke’s perspectives. Alongside this, we also see Kitty desperately trying to escape her guardian Garrick, and the rest of the household doing what they can to aid her with this.
Many of the other characters in the book come with their own sub-plots, and all are interesting to follow. Some are a little predictable, but I still enjoyed reading them and found each sordid and hidden secret so engrossing when they were revealed. Alongside Kitty, my favourite character was the Earl of Claybourne who is so empathetic and determined to do the right thing. Although minor characters I also liked Caden and Randall, Zeke’s brother and friend respectively, who helped show us a different side to Zeke and added a fun dynamic to the story.
Although I loved the plot and characters, I couldn’t become fully absorbed due to two things. The setting and descriptions were great, however I felt the writing style was often too modern. The author uses archaic language, of course, but the weaving of the words felt like they would have worked better in a modern-day story. This is something that is crucial with regency romance books and other historical fiction to really help the story feel authentic. It was hard to truly immerse myself in the book as it just didn’t truly reflect the times.
There were also a lot of Americanisms and US English spellings used, such as “coloring”, “liquor cabinet”, and “fanny” (which Brits will know is NOT a good word to get wrong!) and these would distract me and pull me out of the book. Fine if you’re reading an American book, however The Trouble With Tigers is set in London so it just didn’t feel right.
Otherwise, I enjoyed the writing style. Despite its modern feel it still flowed very well and I found the book easy to read. I liked the short chapters and enjoyed the frequent use of cliff-hangers which often kept me from putting the book down when planned. Third person worked particularly well for the story and character development was one of its strong points.
I would happily recommend The Trouble With Tigers to anyone who loves a good romance – particularly if they enjoy regency romance books. The book has a complex plot and I loved how the author ties it all together. Although I struggled with a couple of things, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Trouble With Tigers and will definitely explore the genre further!
If you’d like to purchase a copy of The Trouble With Tigers then you can do so here:
“According to award-winning author Kimberly Keyes, writing romance is living the dream. She’s been writing all her life, in some version or another. Short stories, poems, non-fiction, and finally, romance.
She writes both contemporary and historical romance, the steamy variety. Interested in her contemporaries? Think Rachel Gibson or Jill Shalvis. Or are you more a historical romance junkie? Think Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn. No matter your preference, Kimberly’s romances feature compelling characters, scintillating sensuality, and of course that happily-ever-after romance readers crave.”
(Taken from author’s website)
Have you read any Regency romance books before? What makes a good novel of that genre for you? Share below, and don’t forget to like and pin if you enjoyed this review! You may also like the following books: