It was the cover, that drew me in right away. The combination of the red hair, the blue dress, and the green of the trees in the background – wonderful. And the fact, that I wanted to see how the author writes in her history books. Because so far, I only knew her modern novels. A novel that plays in the setting of a Stockholm where women are not as self-destined as we are today. In this novel, it is shown very sensitively, and though I couldn´t get rid of the feeling that I´ve read it before. I know I haven´t, but the plot was very familiar to me.

Ein Ungezähmtes Mädchen*
by Simona Ahrnstedt
Slottet Wadenstierna #1
Original Title Överenskommelser
Publisher LYX on July 21, 2017
Genre Historical Novel
Pages 511
Format Softcover
Source Purchased

Beatrice Löwenstrom is young, intelligent, and unwilling to be just a mindless ornament for a man. When she meets the extremely charming Seth Hammerstaal, it immediately crackles between them. With Seth, Beatrice can be all to herself, he is the first man who loves her wisdom and rebellious character and does not desire her solely for her appearance or status. But her uncle has long promised her to the unscrupulous Count Rosenschöld. A man who wants nothing more but to break the will of the red-haired beauty. (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Beatrice is a young redhead who knows exactly what she wants and what she doesn´t. A man who is brutal isn´t on her list. But she´s no choice. More than anything in the world, she wants her cousin to be happy, so she does what must be done. Though she still hopes that her great love Seth will give her a sign that there is hope for them. But her cousin is reckless and wants revenge for his own fate.

This novel has a speedy writing-style. You know from the very beginning, that you are in a time where women have almost no rights and where men tell them, what to do when to do it and how to do it. The main figure stands out of all this because she is kind of untamed and that is exactly why she has to obey her uncle´s rules. The conflict between her and that man is a story that plays in the background and is shown in some very cold scenes. The one, where she tells him finally after years of suffering what he can do with his life, was one of the scenes that stood out.

Though I liked reading this novel, I noticed, that the author has obviously a liking for the same setting when it comes to the evil part in a family. This evil person like in her novel All In raped a young girl together with another boy from a rich family and had to take all the blame for it and got expelled from school. Only that this time it isn´t the brother, who´s the bad guy. 

The author brings all kinds of different characters together in this novel. There is the beloved daughter who is very fragile, breathtaking beauty, and in some ways very naïve. The cousin who comes into the family and is hated by her uncle because she grew up in a way he hates more than anything in the world. And an aunt who is kind of invisible. A shadow, nothing less, nothing more. 

A self-made man isn´t exactly what a family wants for their daughters when she needs to be accepted in the circle of the rich high society. So, when Beatrice falls in love with Seth, and it becomes clear to everyone around, that he´s in love with her too, fate strikes hard. The conflict, Beatrice is brought in to by her uncle, shows the author in a wonderful way though sometimes I thought the scenes were a bit long stretched. 

This novel wasn´t as fast-paced and thrilling as her modern novels, but the romance factor is high and the drama that unfolds right before the reader´s eye was very entertaining. Though I wasn´t as hooked as I was while reading All In. But if you like a setting in 1880 and women who fight men´s and society´s rules in their own way, then this could be for you.

Happy reading

Simona Ahrnstedt
Simona Ahrnstedt ©Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin

Simona Ahrnstedt was born in Prague and is a licensed psychologist, a cognitive behavioral therapist, and most importantly, a bestselling author. As her novels have swept bestseller lists in her native Sweden, she has become a spokesperson for books by women, for women, and about women. Her provocative women´s fiction has been sold in multiple languages as well as audio format. She lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her two teenagers.


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