Historical Heartthrobs“Historical Heartthrobs” by Kelly Murphy with Hallie Fryd
c.2013, Zest Books
$17.99 / $22.99 Canada
223 pages

He loves me. She loves me not.

You might think it’s a children’s pastime but when you’re shaky on love, that old pick-the-petals-off-the-flower game sure makes you feel better.  If you get uneven petals and a “loves me,” you at least have hope.

Would it help to know that you’re not alone, that romance has been iffy practically since the beginning of time?  Find out how by reading “Historical Heartthrobs” by Kelly Murphy with Hallie Fryd.

If you’re like a lot of people sitting in school these days, you’re wishing that history class was over. But history is not at all boring when you remember that historical figures were people who did stupid things, made dumb decisions, and fell in love just like you.

Take, for instance, Cleopatra.

Cleo was a hottie, that’s for sure. Her beauty is legendary, as is her love life – but you might not know the half of it. In order to maintain power, she first married her younger brother, then she married her older brother. She never let that ruin her fun, though: Cleo was famous for her sizzling romance with Julius Caesar and her love affair with Mark Antony, both powerful men in their own rights.

Those pictures of Benjamin Franklin in your wallet don’t make him seem like a sex symbol, but Ben was something in his day.  Some say he was a womanizer and “flirtatious.”  It’s known for sure that, at age 17, he proposed to 15-year-old Deborah Read, who spurned him and married another. A few years later, she returned to Ben and they raised his illegitimate son, William, together.

Pablo Picasso had “two wives, three baby mamas… and countless lovers.” Wild Bill Hickok was married but might’ve been more-than-friends with Calamity Jane. Mata Hari had an affair with her college headmaster. John Wilkes Booth was “rumored” to have been secretly engaged to the daughter of a U.S. Senator and T.E. Lawrence may have had a secret marriage. Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown was wedded to the same man for over fifty years. Benazir Bhutto’s marriage was an arranged one. The romance between Czar Nicholas and his wife began when they were children.

And Nikola Tesla was celibate.

Who says history has to be boring?  Not authors Kelly Murphy or Hallie Fryd!

Did you know that Bugsy Siegel’s sister-in-law was a for-hire killer?  Or that Amelia Earhart had a rather progressive (for her time) marriage?  Who knew that Josephine Baker was also a cosmetics mogul?  You will, once you’ve got this book in your hands and are devouring each of fifty brief chapters.

I was pleased to see that some of the people in here are little-known, as are the surprises and the OMG scandals. What’s nice, too, is that it’s all told in a way that’s easy-to-read and very, very interesting for readers ages 15 and up – or for grown-ups who want something lite and fun. If that’s you and you want to find the real story inside hiSTORY, then “Historical Heartthrobs” is a book you’ll love.