Friday, April 10, 2015

The Duke of Andelot (School of Gallantry #7) by Delilah Marvelle

Never have I picked up a book by Delilah Marvelle and not come away completely in awe. Ms Marvelle's stories take a tight grip of your heart and soul and never let go.

Therese Angelique Bouchard left her family's overrun home in her small town for Paris to fulfill her dreams of becoming a famous stage actress. When she meets a mysterious man on the road, her life is forever changed.

Gerard Antoine Tolbert, the last heir to the Andelot dukedom needs to save his godfather, the imprisoned King of France from his certain demise. Meeting the ambitious Therese on the road was providence. After a torrid encounter with the innocent, he recruits her to spy for him promising her everything she can imagine except for marriage.

Their meeting seems fate and quickly leads to a passion that will burn brightly, but Gerard has rules, while Therese continually attempts to cross the fine lines drawn. Sticking to the rules of the game becomes difficult for both of them and danger is always at their backs. Once Therese becomes the toast of the Republic she discovers that having every amenity at her feet is not enough. She also finds herself pregnant with Gerard's child and keeping it from those around her for as long as possible becomes a task.

The reign of terror in France is on the cusp of exploding and no one is safe from Robespierre and the Republic, not even citoyen Sade, formerly the Marquis de Sade, who forfeit his title with the rise of the Republic but plays a dangerous game playing both sides of the coin.

Tragedy strikes when Gerard's father, who holds the lower classes in utter disdain, attempts to do away with Therese. Confusion ensues on all sides with the political unrest and with Therese. Citoyen Sade takes Therese to hand, but Gerard has been taken into custody and Lord only knows what treatment he will receives. Will both Therese and Gerard survive the revolution? Will their passion and desire for one another survive the insurmountable odds? 

The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle is a highly emotional tale with such sensuality and devotion. It is not for the faint of heart, for the twists and turns this story takes are gut-wrenching. This sweeping tale is so well written with characters of such depth it leaves you thinking about it long after the story has ended. Delilah Marvelle is absolutely brilliant in her depiction of this era and she brings to life that troubled time seemingly with such ease. Time after time Ms. Marvelle achieves greatness with each and every story that she writes. She is solidly on my list of favorite authors and I strongly recommend The Duke of Andelot as well as the entire School of Gallantry series to anyone wanting a deeply emotional plot. Days after reading, I am still in awe.


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