Opening Paragraph: The flintlock pistol felt slicker than ink against Gabriel's weathered palms. Lost to severe thought, he tentatively rotated the firearm between thumb and forefinger. Overhead, light from an oil lamp reflected off the slender barrel and penetrated the darkness of his soul. The illumination spilled acrosss the sleept-covered cobblestones, emitting a faint golden ring through the dense haze of the River Seine. Seduced by the movements, water lapped against the embankment in a mockery of waves.
Book Synopsis: Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die. After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.
But fate has a different plan. Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home. Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah - and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts - or will the cycle of history repeat again? Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
With its stunning opening chapter, I was hooked on this novel -- deeply hooked. From the horribly disfigured, tragically romantic hero, to the kind and loving heroine, to the fascinating storyline, I enjoyed this novel from first page to last. The romance between the two unfolds slowly, steadily, built out of respect and admiration. Both had painful pasts, both face an uncertain future, but as their emotional bonds strengthen, so does the story. At times, the story left me in tears. heartbroken, yet at other times, I cheered or laughed. Sometimes, the flashbacks slowed the story, but that is a small matter. The strength of this story is in the plot and the deeply complex characters that are so vivid, so real, they completely won me over. Definitely not your run-of-the mill romance, this is a great book for those who are not big fans of that genre to try out. I definitely recommend this book!
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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