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10 March 2021

Book Review: Trouble for the Leading Lady by Rachel Brimble *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Trouble for the Leading Lady by Rachel Brimble ahead of the blog tour.

I pounced on this book the second I got my hands on it - I'm pretty desperate to fill the void Bridgerton has left and any historical fiction will do. Well... I was not disappointed! It's like Trouble for the Leading Lady takes all of the best bits from Bridgerton and Harlots and smooshes them together: sex positivity, personal agency, fierce passion. YES.

Trouble for the Leading Lady by Rachel Brimble book cover

Bath, 1852.

As a girl, Nancy Bloom would go to Bath's Theatre Royal, sit on the hard wooden benches and stare in awe at the actresses playing men as much as the women dressed in finery. She longed to be a part of it all and when a man promised her parents he could find a role for Nancy in the theatre, they believed him.

His lie and betrayal led to her ruin.

Francis Carlyle is a theatre manager, an ambitious man always looking for the next big thing to take the country by storm. A self-made man, Francis has finally shed the skin of his painful past and is now rich, successful and in need of a new female star. Never in a million years did he think he'd find her standing on a table in one of Bath's bawdiest pubs.

Nancy vowed never to trust a man again. Francis will do anything to make her his star. As they engage in a battle of wits and wills, can either survive with their hearts intact?

The second in Rachel Brimble's thrilling new Victorian saga series The Ladies of Carson Street, Trouble for the Leading Lady will whisk you away to the riotous, thriving underbelly of Victorian Bath.

Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Lust, attraction, passion, family, friendship.

From the very first page, I loved Trouble for the Leading Lady.

One thing I really loved was the inclusion of small details that will strike every woman as familiar - not taking back paths and alleyways, having a friend as back up when talking to a stranger. As much as the women in this story very much own themselves and their sexual agency, these little things struck me right to the core. The underlying yet never mentioned danger everywhere in the world and the characters acknowledging that hit me deep.

Another thing excellently done was Nancy's reactions to these situations. Her panic and anxiety was real, the unconscious physical reactions described so perfectly. As a character she came to life on the page, and her narration of events was perfect. I could truly feel how she felt, feel the conflicts she faced. She has worked herself up from the horrors of her past and she is determined to live her life only for herself.

Francis is fantastic romantic hero, set on his decision of who he wants to play the lead in his production. He's had an almost equally as hard past and like Nancy has worked his way up, with an added dose of the privilege of being a man. He's hard-working and self-assured yet vulnerable, and it made for an excellent romantic interest, especially for Nancy.

The passion between Nancy and Francis is intense, palpable. From pretty much instant lust, a bit of mutual infatuation, and almost all-consuming chemistry, the relationship only builds, and I am here for it.

I have not read the first book, and you can easily read this as a standalone, but I am absolutely going to go back and read Louisa's story, and then I think I'll dive into the Pennington books - Rachel Brimble's books have jumped straight to the top of my TBR.

You emanate a strength, a tenacity, that is tangible.

Trouble for the Leading Lady by Rachel Brimble blog tour banner


  1. Oh, my goodness! This review brought a tear to my eye - I am absolutely thrilled you enjoyed Nancy's story so much that you want to read my other books. Thank you!!

  2. I love when you can read books in a series as standalones, always good to know. Great review, sounds like a good read!

    Anika |

  3. Amazing review, lovely! Sounds like a great book and you certainly have high high praise for it! x

  4. This sounds fantastic and I'm so pleased you enjoyed this Cora! I'll have to keep an eye out for this myself!

  5. Great review! This book sounds like it is right up your street!

    Lois |

  6. Ooh this sounds like such a fun read - Nancy's character sounds like a really strong lead. Great review!

  7. Hope you’re tempted, ladies! 😊😊

  8. This is such a great review and it sounds like a great book to read! Thank you for sharing x

  9. Sounds like you really enjoyed this book! So Glad!


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