ARC Review: Dreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland ★★★★

Dreams of LilacsDreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: de Piaget  #26)
Publication Date: April 29th 2014
ISBN: 9780515153477
Page Count: 336
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: Amazon
Synopsis: Isabelle de Piaget is determined to elude her overprotective family by means of a hasty escape to France. But instead of making a surprise visit to her brother there, she winds up shipwrecked on the French coast with no memory of who she is or how she came to awaken in the dark and forbidding castle of an equally brooding lord.

Gervase de Seger rescues—very reluctantly—the bedraggled urchin he finds on the road and puts her to work where he can ignore her. Unfortunately, he soon realizes that her brother is an intimidating lord who is going to be absolutely furious when he learns that his beloved sister has been laboring as a scullery maid. Yet Isabelle may be the one who holds the key to solving Gervase’s most pressing problem: that someone has been trying to finish the task of separating him from his title and his lands.

Finding the truth propels Gervase and Isabelle from the buried secrets of half-ruined keeps to the glittering French court, and to the realization that love can blossom in the most perilous circumstances—and in the most unexpected places of the heart . . .


REVIEW

Sweet Romance

I made a bit of a boo boo with this one. I was drawn to it by the blurb, checked it out on Goodreads and it had no series information listed, so I assumed it was a standalone and snapped it up. Well, not only is it a series, but this is something like number 15 in this series, and then it's cross linked to another series and...yeah - confusing! But, what I can definitely say is that it can easily be read as a standalone romance, and that it will leave you wanting to read the other de Piaget siblings' stories!

This book follows youngest de Piaget, Isabelle, as she travels alone to France after receiving a threatening missive. She shows up on the other side of the Channel shipwrecked, concussed, and dressed as a boy, with no memory of who she is or where she came from. She's found by Gervase de Seger. Easily the most brilliant thing about this book! His initial assumption that Isabelle is nothing but an unusually pretty peasant boy, is worth a smile or two, for sure! He takes her back to his holdings and puts her in the kitchen and goes on about his day.

Now let me tell you a little bit about Gervase and why I loved him so much! He's very recently been badly injured in a mysterious house fire, whereupon a mantle stone fell and crushed his leg. After being heralded as one of the best warriors in France, this blow to his pride, of being so weakened during his recovery, is almost unbearable for him. The torment he's going through, both physically and emotionally, is extremely compelling to read. It was humbling for him, and made me love Gervase all the more for the fact he conceded he could probably have used a bit of humbling.  His strength and tenacity, as well as the delightful way he treated Isabelle (once he realised she was most certainly not a boy!) was enough to secure his position as my new favourite Frenchman.

Now Isabelle is not to be discounted as merely a pretty face to turn Gervase's head. Her character also shone throughout with her wit and panache. Truly, the dialogue in general in this book was outstanding - so entertaining and endearing. I think I read the whole thing smiling. But Isabelle in particular had a special kind of sass that I just fell in love with.

As there are about seven de Piaget siblings and about the same de Segers, the cast in this book is rather extensive. We didn't concentrate on too many of them, of course, but those that we did were adorable. I'd love to go back and try a few of the others.

Now, if I have one complaint, and I do hate to sound like a sex-starved strumpet, but there were no happy fun times in this book! I believe this is the norm for this author. And the thing is, although the book was a beautiful romance without it, I am of the opinion a good sex scene really helps cement the couple in the reader's minds as being ""officially together now," as well as showcasing the passion they share. So I would have preferred that to be there, but, as you can see from my rating, it didn't really dull my enjoyment.

A very enthusiastic 4 Stars ★★★★

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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