Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Scarlet Chronicles #1
Publication Date: 1/15/19
Number of Pages: 121
What a way for an author to whet a reader’s appetite for a new series! This is an exciting tale of revolution, suspense, danger, and romance with an absolutely lovely twist! When you have an intriguing story, excellently written prose and tight plotting, you just have to have a winner – and this book has all of that. You quickly forget you are reading a novella because everything in the story is so full and robust. Goodness gracious, I can hardly wait for the next book – I’m waiting with bated breath.
Thomas Daventry has the dullest of parents. They never do anything exciting or fun. They just live quietly at their estate and are goofily in love with each other. They love him and his sisters too and have no problem showing it. However, being a boy of nineteen, he doesn’t really want much to do with sheep, fields and a drafty old pile – so he rarely visits home. When he hears an unbelievable tale from someone in London, he heads, hell-bent-for-leather, home to talk to his father and see what the real tale is.
Viscount Hugh Daventry is surprised and pleased to see his son – and begins to tell him the real story of The Scarlet Pimpernel. What an exciting tale it turns out to be. Hugh was traveling in France just as the revolution was beginning. He was setting up distribution systems to import French wines to England. Paris was already in turmoil with armed gangs burning and looting and Hugh knew it would quickly spread to the countryside. It was Hugh’s intention to honor a promise he’d made to a friend, Therese, Marquise de Beauvais. He’d promised to stop by her sisters’ home and persuade her to leave France and travel to England with him because it was not safe for any aristocrat to remain in France – not even an English one.
Comtesse d’Avignon (Angelette) has been widowed for eighteen months now and is just shedding her widow’s weeds. She loved her husband and mourned him, but it is now time to enter back into life. She’s decided to give a house party as a way of gently entering back into society and when an upstart Englishman appears and tries to persuade her that war is coming and that she should travel to England with him she is appalled. How dare he! Her servants would never betray her nor would the people in the village. She and her husband had always treated them fairly and honorably. She will admit that she has been secluded since her husband’s death and isn’t aware of any of the news, but she is positive the King will deal with whatever upstarts actually rise up and all will be well. That Englishman just needs to go on his way and leave her be!
When the worst happens and Angelette’s chateau is attacked and burned by a horde of people (some were her servants) bent on death and destruction, Hugh just barely managed to save Angelette. Their journey from that point forward is filled with danger and excitement – and, yes – romance. Angelette is determined to stay in France and help her fellow aristocrats and Hugh is determined to leave as soon as possible. How can two such disparate goals mesh into one? Will Hugh ever manage to get Angelette out of France? Will he stay and help Angelette. Well, you’ll just have to read the book to see.
This book really does whet your appetite for the next stories. However, it did leave me with a couple of questions, and I wonder if they’ll be addressed at all in upcoming books. Somehow, I don’t think so and I’d really like to know the story. What happened to Hugh’s valet? Did he manage to escape the attack? We never heard more of him. Then, what happened to the Vicomte de Merville and his pregnant wife? I really liked them and wouldn’t like to think that something bad happened. Arrangements were made for their escape, but did they actually make it? We MIGHT learn more of them in another book – I hope.
This was an excellent, suspenseful and exciting read and I certainly recommend it.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”