Friday, 8 May 2015

The Château on the Lake by Charlotte Betts

What They Say:

Rich, evocative and immersive, The Chateau on the Lake is a breath-taking historical novel set in London and Paris during the time of the French Revolution from award-winning author, Charlotte Betts.

1792. As a teacher at her parents' Academy for Young Ladies in the heart of London, Madeleine Moreau has lived her life sheltered from the outside world. But on the night of a dazzling Masquerade, tragedy strikes and she is left alone in the world. Desperate to find the family she never knew, Madeleine impulsively travels to France in search of them. But with war around the corner, and fearing for Madeleine's safety, the enigmatic Comte Etienne d'Aubery offers her shelter at his home, Chateau Mirabelle.

Chateau Mirabelle enchants Madeleine with its startling beauty, but it is a place of dark and haunting secrets. As the Revolution gathers momentum and the passions of the populace are enflamed, Madeleine must take control of her own destiny and unravel events of the past in order to secure a chance at future happiness.

What I Say:

I would like to thank Clara Diaz for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I have got to say this is the first of Charlotte Betts books that I have read and it won’t be the last.  When we first meet Madeleine she is living a cosseted life if London, until tragedy befalls her and she loses both her mother and father.  Foolishly after almost being thrown out of the only home she has ever know and to help her friend Sophie they make the decision to travel to France to trace her father’s relatives.

As the book begins in London you get to see the naivety of the population over what is happening in France, but once Charlotte has moved the story to France she takes care to describe in detail how awful things really were especially when Madeleine witnesses the beheading of the King and also when a priest if hung for giving communion.

I love the story as it is a romance with the Comte Etienne d’Aubery and Jean-Luc Viard vying for Madeleine’s affections, although admittedly I wanted her to choose Etienne all along.  I loved the closeness of Madeleine and Sophie’s friendship.  I loved the descriptions around the chateaux and also how terrible the journeys would be back then.

I could also see how what was happening would make everyone suspicious of the people around them especially when they were starving and others seemed to be making the most of the situation.

If you love a historical novel then you will enjoy this especially as it also has a couple of mysteries built into the story and Charlotte leaves you guessing right to the very end at the truth.

5 out of 5 stars

About The Author

Charlotte Betts began her working life as a fashion designer in London. A career followed in interior design, property management, and lettings. Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children grew up.

Her debut novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2011 and won the coveted Romantic Novelists' Association's Historical Romantic Novel RoNA Award in 2013.

Her second novel, The Painter's Apprentice, was also shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and the RoNA award in 2014. The Spice Merchant's Wife won the Festival of Romance's Best Historical Read award in 2013. | @CharlotteBetts1

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