It is the golden age of French aristocratic life, the glittering court of Louis XV. Beneath
the posturing and hedonism lies a seething hotbed of intrigue, deceit, and treachery. Brant has the ability
to transport the reader back in time, to a bygone era, without swamping the story with facts. The characters
live and breathe the atmosphere of the time; they are captivating, from the primary players, right down to
the smaller, but no less important characters. Ultimately, this is an enchanting and powerful love story
between two people, Antonia and Roxton, who have all the odds stacked against them. I thoroughly enjoyed
the unfolding of this passionate romance, with added action and adventure, derring-do, and some narrow escapes!
For readers who like intricate detail there is a wealth of carefully chosen gems to enhance the picture.
This is a wonderful read for romance and historical fiction fans. Well-crafted plot, historical accuracy,
and believable characters make this a book to enjoy. This is the first book in the Roxton series. I loved it.
This book is the first in a series and the first I've read by this author but I quickly picked up the next one. The plot is very well researched and rich in the atmosphere and political power plays of the French and British aristocracies. The hero is the Duke of Roxton, who is at first a singularly unlikable individual, a confirmed rake and bachelor concerned only with himself, his immediate family, his wealth, politics, comfort and little else. The heroine, Antonia Moran, at first also seems as if she is a thoughtless young miss, intent on only doing as she wishes, regardless of consequences, but then the author reveals that she is in dire circumstances and is orchestrating her own rescue.
Abandoned in Paris by her dying grandfather who has returned to England and left her with his longtime mistress, Antonia knows that her days of freedom are numbered. Her deceased father, a former physician to the King, made her aware that his distant relative, the Duke of Roxton was to be the executor of his will and her cousin in England to be her guardian. But without her father or grandfather, the Duke won't see her and her French cousin is pressing for a wedding to his son, knowing that she will be an heiress and wanting her for himself.He plans to put his son in prison once they are wed and have her as his mistress. She desperately needs to get to her English family and away from France. Finally, she pulls off a desperate plan and the Duke takes her to his Paris home to be chaperoned by his widowed sister. On the way there, though, highwaymen try to abduct her and she is shot, causing weeks of recuperation during which the Duke falls in love, ever so reluctantly, with a girl half his age.
This book was beautifully written and represents the time period very nicely. The reader can feel as if they are at court or in a drawing room quite easily. The characters are complex and interesting. The twists and turns of the political gamesmanship and currying for court favors is described so well and keeps the suspense going until the end of the story. The Duke becomes Reynard, at least part of the time, and a likeable hero. Antonia is charming and the valet, Martin may be the biggest hero of the story. The supporting characters are also rich and add to the story. I very much enjoyed this tale and look forward to the sequel.
★★★★★ Barnes & Noble
★★★★★ iBookstore (UK)
★★★★★ iBookstore (Australia)
★★★★★ iBookstore (USA)
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