Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Contributor Review ~ A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

  Thomas Nelson, Oct 2015

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

Reviewed by Rebecca Maney
4 Stars

"Respectable" hardly describes the lovely India Hartley as she faces her accusers; the nationally acclaimed young actress has just experienced the horrible misfortune of a delivering a fatal wound upon a beloved local thespian, Arthur Sterling, during a crowded stage performance at Savannah's Southern Palace. Whisked away by law enforcement, she finds her very life in the hands of a talented young lawyer, Philip Sinclair, who has been hired by a kind and gracious theater patron, who staunchly believes in India's innocence.

Fortunately, Philip convinces the judge to release India into his custody while she awaits trial, and they travel to Philip's fledging post-war estate on St. Simon's Island. While residing there, India realizes that her circumstances are strangely and inextricably entangled with painful Sinclair secrets, the truth of which may save her life, but will most certainly prove devastating to Philip, a man who has shown her kindness, friendship, and possibly love, beyond measure.

Dorothy Love has written a fascinating fictional story to the tune of well researched historical personalities and the result is an intriguing book with numerous and surprising changes of pace and plot; making "A Respectable Actress" quite enjoyable to read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".


  1. Sounds like a book I would enjoy! Thanks for your review!

    1. Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment on Rebecca's review! My TBR gets higher and higher with each one of her reviews I read. :)


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