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Monday, May 8, 2017

The Writing Desk



Are you more of a fan of contemporary romances or historical romances like traditional regencies? If you're like me, you truly enjoy them both equally. The latest novel by Rachel Hauck gives romance lovers a bit of both in The Writing Desk. It parallels two vastly different time periods from the late Regency period to present day all revolving around a single piece of furniture, a writing desk. For Tenley Roth, she has been compared to her great-great-grandfather and father Conrad Roth for having the flair to turn out best selling novels. With her latest novel Someone to Love written during the time when she lost her father, she poured out all her emotions into her characters and of course the literary world is loving it. But with every best seller comes the next one and Tenley has just a few short months before her deadline and she is faced with writers block.

Besides facing an unexpected engagement and last minute proposal from her boyfriend Holt Armstrong, she didn't exactly say yes or no to him and has taken his ring and kept it in the same Tiffany box it arrived in. She is facing another dilemma when Holt offers her a trip to Paris to work on his screenplay alongside an award winning actress thinking it may relive whatever has kept her from writing, while at the same time, she is asked by her estranged mother Blanche Hastings to help care for her now that she is facing a cancer diagnosis and must endure chemotherapy treatments with no one else to help her. The only thing keeping Tenley from immediately coming to her mother's aid is the fact she walked out on her and her father and never looked back and now she wants Tenley's help as if nothing happened. Faced with such a choice she believes heading to Florida to care for her mother might give her the time she needs to resolve any issues with her mom in case she should lose her battle with cancer and not have a second chance. Holt however decides to head to Paris without her.

As the novel toggles between present day with Tenley and Blanche, it also goes back in history to Birdie Shehorn, a wealthy American socialite who has been tasked with finding a suitable match to keep the family at the top of the social ladder and possibly the next to replace the Astor family. But Birdie has a fondness for writing but can't seem to find a suitable publisher to take her seriously since when would someone like her need money? She manages to run into Gordon Phipps Roth, a man who is famous for all his romance novels and she believes if she can convince him to consider her writing, maybe she might stand a chance. However her mother keeps her bound to her own plans for marriage and arranges a suitable match with Alfonse Van Cliffs, who will take them to the top of the social ladder. But Alfonse isn't looking for a love match, but more along the lines of the same desires her parents have. If only her childhood friend Elijah Percy who is soon to become the next Earl of Montague, and has his own sets of plans to wed Rose Gottlieb to help shore up his weakening financial state due to mismanagement from his fathers business plans. Why does marrying for love have to be so complicated?

I received The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck compliments of Zondervan Publishing and Net Galley. I absolutely love that as a reader, you feel like you are getting two complete novels in one. With Birdie's saga as well as Tenley's they both share a love for writing that transcends generations and ties them both with unexpected surprises found in The Writing Desk. I love Birdie's true determination to stand up to both her mother and father against what society deems is acceptable for her social status as well as Tenley coming to terms with her issues with her mother and being held to such a high standard based on the literature both of her great-great-grandfather and her father. Whether now or the Gilded Age. Women want to be safe, free and loved. They want to provide for their children. In the Gilded Age, woman wanted to climb the social ladder. In the modern age, women want to climb the corporate ladder." But as they will both see, they are not cut out for what the world has in store for them and instead will follow their own hearts even if it means they stand alone instead of with the crowd. I easily give this a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars and includes discussion questions that make this a perfect book club selection.

For more information about The Writing Desk, Rachel Hauck or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out in July of 2017.


You can find Rachel Hauck on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Writing Desk, please visit Zondervan Publishing's website. 




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