Book 1
Stranje House

May 19, 2015

Tor Teen



Speculative Fiction
Action & Adventure

A School For Unusual Girls
by Kathleen Baldwin   


"...kept me reading until late into the night...completely original - and totally engrossing - world, full of smart girls, handsome boys, and sinister mysteries."
- Meg Cabot, #1 NYT Bestselling Author

"...enticing from the first sentence...gender stereotypes are turned upside down..."
- New York Times Book Review

"Spellbinding! ...a beautifully written tale of adventure, intrigue, and romance...a true page-turner!"
- Rachel Hawthorne, NYT Bestselling Author

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin.

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts…


"Fascinating action adventure with unusual characters"  By Ashia 1 year ago

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A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS is a fascinating action adventure story set in an alternate historical Regency period.

After accidentally setting her father's stables on fire, Georgiana was sent to Stranje House to be trained on how to be a proper lady. Little did she know that there's more to Stranje House than that, or that she'd meet Sebastian Wyatt and they would be thrust into a desperate mission to come up with a new form of invisible ink...

Georgie is a great heroine, plucky, bold and brave. Oh, and smart. Her interests are unusual, to say the least, which is why she was sent to Stranje House, and perhaps, it's a blessing in disguise for her. Her scenes with Sebastian were filled with witty banter and conflict-ridden moments, and I wish their romance could've been developed more, though perhaps, considering their situation, Sebastian's reticence had merit.

Secrets and strange happenings abound in Stranje House and not everyone is as it seems. There's also some history between the girls and the "villain" of the story, a history that we got bits and pieces of, as we are in Georgie's first person point of view. Maybe more would be revealed in succeeding books. The last quarter of the book was the action adventure part and really picked up the pace of the book.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and can't wait to get into the next one! Young readers would enjoy their foray into history through this story, although it's imperative to read the Author's Note, as she did confess she played with "what if's" and changed some historical facts.


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This is the first romance novel I’ve read/reviewed which has been set during the Napoleonic War, a time period when the well-to-do had standards that had to be followed; standards which would appeal to Regency lovers. However, Georgiana Fitzwilliam did not fit this mold nor did she want to. Instead she was a free-spirited young lady who had always been interested in things which had forbidden for prim and proper young ladies at that time.

What broke the camel’s back as far as her father was concerned about his daughter’s continuous unconventional behavior had been when she burned down his stables doing a scientific experiment. He immediately sends her packing off to Stranje House, a school noted for their transformation of girls like Georgie into hopefully what society dictated.

Naturally once she arrived there and saw two girls imprisoned in brutal medieval torture devices which she immediately envisioned were to be used in her transformation into a desirable young lady any man would eagerly marry, she quickly began to plot her escape from “Prim and Proper LadyLand.”

But luckily as she begins her attempted escape she discovers two men who were involved in the same experiment which had caused her father to send her to this school in the first place. Instead Georgie discovers that the Headmistress Emma Stranje, owner of the school, was just as rebellious as she was, along with the rest of the young ladies who were there with her. She also learns that Stranje House was a center that taught its young ladies amongst other things diplomacy, war and espionage, things which no lady would ever be caught doing at that time to make a difference in the world; an opportunity which she instantaneously grabs with both hands, becoming what would be consider today as a feminist of her time.

Accepting this chance to do what she loves to do, she immediately gets thrusted into a world of British and French spies and a plot to restore Napoleon to the throne. While she soon has Lord Sebastian Wyatt assistance in her experiments, at the same time, these experiments puts him in grave danger on the continent. She’s also begins to be attracted to him.

The blend of the various genres which the storyline contains make for a page turning reading experience for many romance genre lovers, besides Regency. Since this blend of genres includes spies, espionage, war, and adventure, male readers might be attracted this book as well, making romance [which a little of is allowed in these genres] to take a backseat.

For making this novel appealing to a vast audience of specific genre readers, as well as males, I’ve given this book 5 STARS, too bad 5 is the limit.