Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan

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Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (269 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Elizabeth Lancaster, an English professor at Pasadena City College, finds her perfectly dull but perfectly orchestrated life upended one summer by three men: her movie-star ex-husband, a charming political operative, and William Shakespeare. Until now, she’d been content living in the shadow of her high-profile and highly accomplished family. Then her college boyfriend and one-time husband of seventeen months, A-list action star FX Fahey, shows up with a job offer that she can’t resist, and Elizabeth’s life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. She’s off to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the summer to make sure FX doesn’t humiliate himself in an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Want to learn a little Shakespeare the fun way? Elizabeth Lancaster is an English professor who comes from an extraordinary family. Also, she’s the ex-wife of a movie star. One day, her ex surprises her with a proposition. He needs her help, after all these years. She agrees to be a consultant for him while he prepares for an acting job in a popular Shakespearean play.

Should she take the job? The guy had broken her heart. She goes for it and learns a few things herself. Her ex-husband has done a little growing up since she last saw him. Might things resume between them? Then again, Elizabeth meets a handsome, charming guy who is working on her brother-in-law’s campaign to run for governor. They develop a real connection.

The cast is filled with interesting characters, from a Nobel Prize winner to a doctor in search for the cure for cancer. These characters help readers to see Elizabeth at her finest. The plot is interesting in a cozy way, not riveting. It’s wonderfully clever in comparing Shakespeare’s characters to modern-day people and situations. This author has bridged the gap between the sixteenth century and our modern day in a witty way. For example, there is a list of relationship red flags. What should someone watch out for then? “Eavesdrops behind Curtains.” And now? “Installs GPS Tracker.”

The book is filled with remarks that are sure to increase a reader’s understanding of the Bard’s work. Recommended to those who enjoy delightful, light-hearted, modern-day stories.

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