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Release day: The Hidden Duchess

17 June 2017

Today is the official release of The Hidden Duchess by Bree Verity (ebook, Passion in Print Press). Here’s the blurb:

Celeste, Duchesse de Saint Tours, is forced into hiding when she is falsely accused of the murder of her husband. She flees to the south of France, where her distant cousin, Marcel Daunou reluctantly agrees to hide her in plain sight on his farm. However, she must learn to live as a peasant farmer in order to complete the deception, a feat which appears next to impossible to the haughty Duchess. Especially knowing that the unsettling Marcel is watching over her at every turn. She can’t wait to return to her beloved Paris, and the exquisite, hedonistic lifestyle she has left behind.

Marcel knows that he places his loved ones in danger when he agrees to hide Celeste. However, his committee has agreed to hide her in exchange for a large sum of money that will assist their gravely poor community, and since she is his family, he takes responsibility for her. But Republican fervor is running high and Marcel knows if the Duchess is found out, she will be marched back to Paris, and to the guillotine. And his family will face harsh retribution from the agitating revolutionaries for hiding a member of the despised nobility.

Forced to work together, Celeste and Marcel discover a passion that they cannot resist. And Celeste discovers a feeling of belonging and acceptance from the people of the village that she has never felt before. She begins to dream about a future with Marcel.

When her well-meaning lawyer appears in the village and gives her identity away, it isn’t only Marcel that Celeste stands to lose – it’s her life as well.

How can a noble Duchess and a peasant farmer find their happily ever after?

Bree dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Celeste and Marcel have had a very interesting history—I started writing their story a little over twenty years ago, after having devoured every Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt novel I could get my hands on. With a romanticised notion of the French Revolution brought to me via the telemovie version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, I thought revolutionary France the perfect setting for a novel. But the more I researched, the more I realised I knew just about nothing about the Revolution, and certainly nothing about the peasant classes or rural France! So Celeste and Marcel bided their time in a cardboard box under my bed for many years, every now and then getting a breath of air as I revisited the story, re-read what I’d already written, and checked out a few more facts for the story. Then, about eighteen months ago, I’d finished writing my first contemporary novel and decided to dip my toes back into historical romance. I’m so glad I did! Celeste and Marcel became living, breathing, complex people and all that research paid off. I hope you enjoy reading their story.

You can find out more about this book at Bree’s website.

All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go in the draw to win a copy of the ebook. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Helen Sibbritt).

  1. 27 June 2017 12:42 pm

    Love France. Love historical fiction. A match made in heaven for me. Glad you didn’t give up on the idea.

  2. 22 June 2017 9:40 am

    The book sounds really intriguing Bree. It’s hard to know when to stop the research and write the book but it sounds like you did them sort of side by side.

  3. lynette williams permalink
    18 June 2017 2:13 pm

    congratulations on the release sounds like one to buy——Lyn W

  4. shelleyrussellnolan permalink
    17 June 2017 4:51 pm

    This sounds like such a fun read. I can picture the duchess on the farm, totally out of her depth, with Marcel watching over her. Delicious.

    • 17 June 2017 8:30 pm

      Hi Shelley. In earlier versions of the novel, there was a scene where she got very prickly with Marcel for offering to help her! I think he must have the patience of a saint to put up with her! Bree

  5. 17 June 2017 10:42 am

    Congratulations on your new release. What a fascinating storyline. Uncovering the secrets of France must have been intriguing. Wishing you all the best with your new book baby.

    • 17 June 2017 8:28 pm

      Hi Juanita. The reasons for the French Revolution are still being debated to this day – there were so many social and political and societal upheavals all happening at the same time – it was fascinating to delve into, for sure! Bree.

  6. 17 June 2017 10:40 am

    Happy release day Bree there must have been a lot of research for this one woohoo

    Have Fun

    • 17 June 2017 8:24 pm

      Thanks Helen! Thankfully, I didn’t spend the entire 20 years in research!! Bree

  7. 17 June 2017 10:30 am

    Congratulations Bree. I’m thrilled you rummaged in that box under your bed. What a great premise for a story. Did you visit farms or market gardens to get your hands into the soil for research? If not, perhaps another time – Margaret River sounds right – give me a call, you might need a navigator. Best wishes, Jay.

    • 17 June 2017 8:23 pm

      Hi Jay. I used to live on a farm, so am quite familiar with getting my hands dirty! Having said that, I’m certain additional research via the Margaret River wineries would be well worth undertaking… 🙂 Bree

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