Sunday, 21 June 2015

Indiscretion: Review

Author: Hannah Fielding
Genre: Romance, fiction
Pages: 489
Originally published in: 2015

Who doesn’t love a bit of historical romance set in sunny Spain in the 1950s? I am definitely up for a bit of that, especially since I am going to Spain again later this summer… So, let’s get to it!

Indiscretion is the story of a young girl – Alexandra de Falla. Half-English, half-Spanish, Alexandra has spent the first 20 years of her life between London and Kent, living with her aunt. Even though it is the 50s and a woman is expected to be focused on marrying well and settling down, Alexandra is quite modern – she is a successful young writer, with a book or two behind her back, and she has also recently rejected a marriage proposal. However, there is something missing from her life and when her father finally comes to visit her in England and invites her to see her estranged Spanish family, she immediately jumps on the offer. Alexandra yearns to learn more about her Spanish roots, hoping to learn more about herself and to find a sense of belonging in the hot country, but what she discovers there is very different from what she expected. A big family, controlled by a strong mother figure and contrived by an even stronger sense of tradition, a spiteful stepmother, a jealous stepsister, and one notoriously handsome cousin, prove to be more than a handful. Is Alexandra ready to live in a country where the heat of the weather is almost as strong as the heat of the people?

This was a vibrant, passionate land: the heat, the colours, the flamboyance of the people, the wild and mythical feel of the mountainous scenery, even the spectacular rise and setting of the sun.

The book is an easy read and a page turner. If you love your romantic novel, you are definitely in for a treat – Indiscretion provides this mix of forbidden love, complications, beautiful people and heated arguments that no such book is full without. As most of the story is based in hot Spain, Indiscretion also makes for the perfect summer read that is bound to put you in the holiday mood (personally, it definitely made me look forward to my time in Madrid even more). There are also a lot of long descriptive paragraphs that really set the mood and create a good sense of the region, setting each scene quite nicely. 

Bright purple bougainvillea cascaded down walls and honey-scented jasmine spilled out of windowboxes, their aroma mingling with the distinctive salty tang of the sea, invading Alexandra’s senses.

It is probably important to point out that the story is dominated by quite a lot of superstition, gypsy curses, and foreshadowing, but this is Spain in the middle of the century after all! It is here where the colourful history of the country shines through – a lot of the characters give some nice insight into the history of the region, peppered with a few local legends that are definitely quite interesting. Anyway, the "superstitious part" of the book was my least favourite as it did not make a lot of sense to me...

On to the characters, Alexandra is definitely written as this young, well-educated, sophisticated, intelligent, beautiful and modern woman (she is basically perfect?). Coming from the nicest parts of London, with a suitcase full of tailored Yves Saint Laurent pieces, she is this independent girl that might be fascinated with Spanish traditions, but is not completely prepared for living within their rule. I have to say I did have a few issues with her character. Even though she is constantly referred to as being highly intelligent and very forward-thinking and independent, she did not really come across as such as the book progressed. Granted it is only the 1950s, but this woman bursts out crying on so many occasions at some point in the second half of the book she started crying every time Salvador (the love interest) confronted her! This definitely got on my nerves *a lot* – she was almost this damsel in distress that constantly needed saving. Not to mention she was really unprepared for the real world, something that might be due to her sheltered upper-class upbringing, but still… Leading on a man, who was obviously pretty violent is not a smart move, Alexandra! Yes, she was supposed to be quite naïve, but this is not an excuse for some of her actions. Frankly, she was acting as an immature teenage girl obsessed with the hot guy at school (I cannot put it more plainly).

And what about the main stallion? Salvador might have been a character that appealed to me when I was a teenager – tall, dark stranger with strong arms, beautiful eyes, and sun-kissed tan… just an all-round sexy Spanish man. However, this man was acting so ridiculously with his crazy superstitions that even his hotness could not save him in my eyes! Not only this, but he was quite frankly leading our heroine on and she was falling for him with such an ease that it was almost pitiful. Yes, he is this mysterious, sexy man that a lot of women dream about – but is it a good idea to fall in love with him? Not so much. Frankly, I think if Alexandra was this smart, strong woman she believed to be, she should have just slept with him once or twice, and then went on with her life (okay, it is the 50s, so maybe she could have just flirted a little and left it to that – mind you, even that would be considered brave and careless at the time, so I might be asking a bit too much from her). My point is, Katy Perry sang Hot and Cold for a man like Salvador! Jumping all over you with passionate kisses and embraces at one moment, ignoring you and sleeping with other women (but never with you) in the next. (Alexandra thinks this means that he loves her but he is scared because of those aforementioned superstitions and curses – because apparently a man cannot just feel attracted to you without being deeply in love?). Next, please!

Basically, I did enjoy reading Indiscretion – it is a nice, long romantic novel full of passion and intrigues, and this is definitely something I like reading about. It is very girly and admittedly a bit clichéd, but it is quite entertaining as well and the well-researched region compensates for the flaws of the plot. Granted the main heroine annoyed me and I could not quite connect with her due to her dubious decisions and drama-queen attitude, but the story as a whole was still quite addicting and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of historical romance. The richness of the descriptions successfully sends the reader on a journey through sunny, passionate Spain, and makes him want to learn more about this heated culture.  But for god's sake, girls, do not fall for the guy who keeps awakening your emotions and then leaves you with nothing but a hot paella and a cold bed!

Thanks to the lovely Hannah Fielding for sending me a copy of her book in an exchange of an honest review! I enjoyed reading it enormously and could not put it down until I finished it!

Now tell me, would you be interested in reading Indiscretion?


  1. I've been looking for a book to read this summer. And I love Historic Romatic Novels. I've not yet read a book set in the 50s and specifically in Spain. But you're description of the heroine makes me wonder whether I would want to read. I think she would get on my nerves too. And might put me off. Food for thought xx Dandy I

  2. It is definitely a well-written and well-researched book, so if you are interested into Spanish culture I would still recommend it - the author describes the region in great detail! I know what you mean though, you can tell the heroine really annoyed me and I wanted to slap her hahah I still enjoyed the book regardless :D xx