Tag Archives: historical romance

New Book for Review: Expiation by Greg Messel

ExpiationGreg Messel is touring in July 2011 with his historical romance novel, Expiation.

In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. He is the hero football player, and she is the beautiful cheerleader. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die. Life changes when Dan leaves Washington to start college at the University of California Berkeley and pursue his dream of working for a big time newspaper in the glamorous city of San Francisco. The quest for his dream occurs against the turbulent background of Berkeley and San Francisco in the 1970s as Dan and Katie go their separate ways. Now, thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother’s funeral. He’s never stopped thinking about Katie, his long-lost love. But the two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way as the rest of the world grows more fearful of Y2K and the dawn of the twenty-first century. They are hoping that their love, once lost, can now be reclaimed.

287 pages

You can visit his website at www.gregmessel.com.

If you would like to review Expiation, email us by clicking here or email Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife@yahoo.com. Deadline for inquiries end June 25 or until the tour is filled. Thank you!

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Faith and Honor

faith-and-honoe

Faith and Honor
Author: Robin Maderich
Publisher: Blue Shutter Books

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Forbidden love during the battle for independence is what historical fiction fans will find in Faith and Honor, Book 1 of the Honor Trilogy by Robin Maderich.

On the ride home to Boston, beautiful, red-headed widow Faith Ashley is assisted by a strong and elegant man in a dusty tricorne hat. Little does this dedicated patriot know, Mr. Irons is an officer in the British Army.

By rights they should be enemies; but their hearts are drawn to each other. As the battle for independence looms on the horizon, Faith and Fletcher Irons struggle to make sense of their feelings while still holding fast to their beliefs. What does loving the enemy cost? And can their love survive the rebellion?

Author Robin Maderich brings Colonial Boston alive for readers in this moving, romantic story of forbidden love. Maderich’s attention to detail, knowledge of the era, and her ability to develop complex and fascinating characters, are woven together to create a poignant tale of a man and woman who stand on opposite sides of a conflict.

This eloquently written story that captures the fashion, the language, and tense situation of Colonial Boston is sure to be a hit with historical fiction fans.

Faith is a strong, determined patriot, and Fletcher, believing that the British must squash the rebellion, continues to perform his duty despite his feelings for Faith. He is certainly an honorable hero. Other memorable characters are Ezra Briggs, a lawyer and loyalist who has known Faith for many years, and British Lieutenant Brian Upton, a fellow officer and good friend of Fletcher’s. John Colton, Faith’s father who lives in Longmeadow, will certainly leave an impression on readers, as will Elizabeth, Faith’s servant and fellow patriot.

This reader was totally captivated by Faith and Honor. The mingling of fictional characters with historical figures and events is so well done that I wanted immediately to dive back into the book as soon as I finished.

Faith and Honor by Robin Maderich is one book you won’t want to miss!

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Mistress of the Revolution

 Mistress of the Revolution
Author: Catherine Delors
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Rating: 
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Well-drawn characters, gripping storylines, and rich descriptions fill the pages of debut author Catherine Delors‘s Mistress of the Revolution.

Set during the years leading up to and through the French Revolution, this epic novel finds young noblewoman Gabrielle de Montserrat falling in love with commoner Pierre-Andre Coffinhal. Her brother forbids their union and forces her into a marriage to an aging and wealthy cousin who mistreats her.

After the sudden and unexpected death of her abusive husband, Gabrielle goes to Paris to make a life for her and her young daughter, Aimee. As the threat of revolution hangs overhead, Gabrielle becomes a kept woman and a lady in the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. When Gabrielle is faced with the guillotine, she reaches out to Pierre-Andre, who had fled to Paris to become a lawyer when he was denied her hand in marriage. The two lovers search for a way to hold onto each other, as violence swirls around them; pulling everyone and everything into its grasp.

Every so often I pick up a book whose hook has such dramatic impact that I must read it again. Such is the case with Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors. Many years in the future, the narrator, Gabrielle tells of the exhuming of the bodies of the late King and Queen of France, thereby setting the scene for all that will unfold in subsequent pages.

While a first person narrative often distances the reader from the story, Gabrielle never once distracted me from all that was happening in and around France in the late 1700’s. A tremendous amount goes on within the 450 pages of this fascinating and captivating novel. Fully explored were the relationships between Gabrielle and her family, Pierre-Andre, her lover Villers, Aimee, and the friendships she maintained and lost through the years. Rich and vivid details flowed throughout, drawing the reader deeper and deeper into a story that realistically portrayed the plight of the late 18th century woman and the tragic events that unfolded in France during the reign of King Louis XVI and beyond. 

My one and only disappointment is the cover. The artwork was taken from a famous painting titled, The Stolen Kiss, by Jean Honore Fragonard. The image was reversed so that the table and chair are on the left and the gentleman stealing the kiss on the right. I would much have preferred to have seen more of the image of the gentleman–which is hidden inside the book flap–than the furniture, but it is still a strikingly handsome cover.
 

Mistress of the Revolution is a story of impossible love pitted against the most tumultuous time period in France’s history. It is a novel that will reward the reader in every aspect and leave her desiring to read it again as soon as the last word is read. I eagerly look forward to the next book by talented newcomer Catherine Delors.

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