Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review: The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle



The Duke of Andelot (School of Gallantry #7)
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Release Date: 10 April 2015

For fans of Tom Jones and The Scarlet Pimpernel comes a twisted, sexy tale that takes the French Revolution to smoldering new heights.


Long before becoming the flamboyant courtesan known to men as Madame de Maitenon, Thérèse Angelique Bouchard, dreamed of becoming an actress capable of commanding not only the stage but all of Paris. Until she meets an extraordinary aristocratic gentleman who sweeps her into his arms and the danger of his life, while offering her the sort of wealth she never imagined. What starts off as a seductive alliance, ends in her giving him the one thing she cannot afford: her love. 

After the murder of his older brothers, Gérard Antoine Tolbert, becomes the last heir to the powerful dukedom of Andelot, leaving him to fight for not only his life, but the allegiance he holds for the crown. During the final rise of the French Revolution that whispers of the violent change about to shake the entire country, Gérard 

meets an aspiring actress who introduces him into wanting more out of himself and life. In trying to protect her from their overly passionate alliance and those that want him dead, he must decide what matters most: his life or his heart.

AUTHOR NOTE: This sweeping saga will follow Madame de Maitenon and the Duc of Andelot from their youth in 1792, France, to what they ultimately become when the School of Gallantry series first starts in England, 1830.


Review


The Duke of Andelot is a sweeping romance that spans decades and is steeped in tragedy and danger as Thérèse and Gérard fight for their happy endings during the treacherous days of the French revolution.

Thérèse may be just a butcher's daughter from a small French country town, but she has much higher ambitions for herself ,and she also has the intelligence and gumption to see those ambitions realised. She wants to be a successful actress in Paris, adored by the crowds and free to live life as she chooses. I loved Thérèse. She's brave, determined and doesn't let her beauty go to her head. She's also funny, loving and kind. She's also exactly how I would have pictured Madame de Maintenon during her youth.

Gérard is a Duke's remaining son and heir but it's a dangerous time to be nobility, especially when the King of France is your godfather. I found Gérard's personality was an interesting mix, sometimes he acted rather arrogant and entitled but at other times he's incredibly devoted to other people's safety and happiness. He really is a truly compassionate and good man though. He is so determined to help others as much as he can during the revolution, often at the expense of himself.

Thérèse and Gérard have a powerful connection immediately that is the last thing either of them are looking for, but not something they can resist either. Gérard is the first man to actually be able to tempt Thérèse into a romantic liaison, despite attempts by many others. Gérard  trusts Thérèse at a time when placing trust in the wrong person is a very dangerous thing indeed, which makes it all the more poignant.

The romance between these two was tempestuous but sweet, and threatened at every turn by the events unfolding around them. Their eventual reunion was so bittersweet and there were plenty of moments that made my heart break for them. Delilah Marvelle's conducted extensive research for this book and it really shows. You could easily imagine yourself in the characters' situations, in a country in the grips of a savage revolution. The plot had me glued to the pages as the story of Madame de Maitenon and the Duc of Andelot unfolded. Their story was worth the wait as we come to the end of the School of Gallantry series, and I can only wait with bated breath for what Delilah Marvelle brings us next.

*I received a review copy for my honest opinion. Thank you!

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