Monday, 18 May 2015
The Duke of Andelot (School of Gallantry #7) by Delilah Marvelle
For some, unraveling love takes a lifetime...
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, as a mere bourgeoisie, cannot afford to give: 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 entices him into wanting more out of not only himself but 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.
WARNING: This book contains strong language and sexual content that may cause respectable people to swoon.
7/10 from me. My thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
This is the last in the series of the School of Gallantry, not having read any of the other books I feel that this one reads well as a standalone and whilst it is nice to have the back story of the characters to me it didn't detract from the story at all.
Told in two parts the story tells the tale of Therese the daughter of a Butcher who escaping an arranged marriage is on her way to Paris and who befriends Gerard the son of the Duke of Andelot and heir to the title, who she meets while travelling. Gerard is attracted to Therese in more ways than one.
Gerard is a wealthy young man and heir to a great fortune. Gerard has plans for Therese who is an Actress and will have access to many influential men due to this, he plans to use her to his own advantage asking her to act as a spy for him. He has plans to help people escape execution. Set in the late 1700's around the time of the French Revolution, the story takes some inspiration from The Scarlet Pimpernel, the elusive Aristocrat who helped others escape execution.
As fate has it's own plans for Therese and Gerard the two follow the paths set out for them. As part one draws to a close we are left thinking that Gerard has disappeared, he has told Therese to stay in Paris and that he will one day come back to find her.
As part two opens Therese is much older and events have taken place that we are told about. She is now the head of the School of Gallantry that aims to teach young innocent men about ways to deal with the fairer sex.
Therese is courted by several men who would like to be more to her, as she accepts a tentative marriage proposal in her eyes, it's more for a platonic relationship than anything else. Deep down she still has feelings for Gerard but she has no idea of his whereabouts or if he is still alive or not.
Will she marry or has fate other plans for her?
Whilst this book does come with a warning of strong language and sexual content, it's not overly full of erotic material and what there is complements the story well.
The Author has clearly done plenty of research and the story is full of atmosphere, treachery, betrayals and has a love story at it's heart.