If you like historical romances, then this book is for you. Finding Gabriel, an upcoming release from Pan Macmillan, takes place in 19th century France. One snowy evening, Ariah finds a man laying half dead on the banks of the Seine. Against social convention, she takes him back to her house to nurse him back to health.
Gabriel had tried to commit suicide via gunshot wound to the mouth, so one half of his face is missing. As he writhes in fever, a doctor friend helps Ariah work to eliminate infection and take care of him. As he heals in her house, the two grow closer and eventually find their happily ever afters which defeat their respective demons. As it turns out, they have some parallel demons and are truly soulmates. When a particular demon from Ariah’s past shows up in the form of her daughter’s father, who subseuqently abducts her daughter, the two work together to save her and build the foundation of their family.
This is a lovely, involving story. Meticulously researched, the characters feel authentic and enveloping. Like the best novels (in my opinion) this felt more non-fiction than fiction and that’s a credit to Demeter. My only complaint is that the story – in it’s desire to get descriptions and historical accuracy – dragged at times for me. However, I am a reader who loves dialogue over detail and I know that about myself. I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys novels about historic, Napoleonic-era France – romance focused or non. There are certainly sex scenes and they are well crafted, but if you have a pal who loves this era of time and isn’t a super big romance fan, I’d still pass this along.
If we’re talking French novels, is there any other choice than good wine? I think not. I’m partial to Bordeaux reds myself.
I received a copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for a honest review.