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Feature book: The Hidden Duchess

5 December 2018

The Hidden Duchess by Bree Verity

Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 2 Jul 2018
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Length: 320 pages
RRP: US$0.99 (Kindle) / free (Kobo)

Running from a murder she didn’t commit, Celeste did not see the revolution coming. She fled to her cousins’ home in the country hoping they will provide a place to stay while she sorts out her legal issue. Her cousins, Marcel and Louise, find Celeste entertaining at first, as she couldn’t seem to do much, or know much about country life.

Celeste Martin, as she becomes known in the village, just wants to go back to her life in Paris. She wants the balls, the food, the lovers. She also wants to be exonerated from the murder charge. As the days and weeks go on, she gets used to country life, and the very slow letters from her lawyer, especially the daily routine and the people around her, and she complains less and less. She also finds Marcel very attractive.

Marcel initially is entertained by Celeste’s inability to do the hard tasks and must browbeat her into doing house chores. He also gets very jealous when Lucien Antonin pays particular attention to Celeste. Lucien is quite open about his loathing of the nobility and says he will shoot any noble if they cross his path. When Marcel and Celeste get together, he tells her he is a virgin and is waiting to have sex with his wife. But he is happy to do all manner of other things than actual intercourse.

During the time Celeste is in the village, she comes up against the hate that people have for nobles in France. She has to keep her title a secret. And is mostly successful until there are repercussions from the storming of the Bastille and the destruction of noble properties. She goes missing and Marcel has to find her.

This story was set against an interesting background: the French Revolution. The history is only touched on as Celeste and Marcel are the focus of the story. The reader is certainly able to feel the intensity when different events happen, Louise gets influenza and Celeste goes missing, and all the people who surround Celeste and Marcel. There is also an intensity between the couple as they think they have limited time together.

The historical reader may find the different setting as intriguing as the relationship between Celeste and Marcel.

Reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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