Category: The Napoleonic War Era

+Book Review+ The Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 11 January, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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The Reluctant Bride by Beverley EikliThe Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli

Author Connections: Personal Site | Blog

Facebook | Twitter | Converse via: #TheReluctantBride

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Historical | Regency

Napoleonic | Espionage | Suspense

Published by: ChocLitUK, 7 September 2013

Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book, Audiobook, & Large Print Page Count: 400


Acquired Book By:

Whilst researching Indie Publishers and Presses one evening, as I was hopping through the book blogopshere, I started to alight on book bloggers who were recommending several of whom I hadn’t yet heard of! ChocLitUK was listed as a good resource for Romance; intrigued I clicked over to read more about them! I believe it was ‘love’ at first sight for me – their website won me over instantly! The stories they publish are stitched together in a way that has always endeared me to the genre! Having read about their Tasting Panel, I enquired by email if they would ever consider a book blogger to review their titles instead.

ChocLitUK is an Independent Publisher whose origins go back to 2009 for bringing top quality women’s fiction with the undercurrents of love woven into the stories! Their catalogue of stories appeals to me, as I never considered myself a “Chick Lit” type of gal, as I love the foundations of romance to be etched in relationships! (as outlined in “My Bookish Life”) The full essence of what I seek out when I want to be wrapped up in a romance is found in the niche ChocLit has developed! Besides who couldn’t help but appreciate a publisher with a cheeky sense of humour? ChocLit | Chocolate, anyone?

I am now a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The Reluctant Bride” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! The book released on 7th September 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. This marks my first review for ChocLitUK!

Inspired to Read:

I am always finding a way to duck into the Regency &/or the Victorian age, which is why I was perked with interest when I saw the genre offered in ChocLit’s catalogue! This story has a clever character arc in which two of the leads are needing to embark on a journey towards redemption. One to prove she can stand on her own feet again and another (I presume) to not only overcome his life as a soldier but to accept and shift forward from the death of his mistress. There is a lot of clever passageways the author could take this story and I was keen to find out! The back-story alone held my interest but its the heart of the two lead characters that made me tempted to read it!

Book Synopsis:

Can honour and action banish the shadows of old sins?

Emily Micklen has no option after the death of her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn soldier who represents her only escape from destitution. Major Angus McCartney is tormented by the reproachful slate-grey eyes of two strikingly similar women: Jessamine, his dead mistress, and Emily, the unobtainable beauty who is now his reluctant bride. Emily’s loyalty to Jack’s memory is matched only by Angus’s determination to atone for the past and win his wife with honour and action. As Napoleon cuts a swathe across Europe, Angus is sent to France on a mission of national security, forcing Emily to confront both her allegiance to Jack and her traitorous half-French family. Angus and Emily may find love, but will the secrets they uncover divide them forever?

Author Biography:Beverley Eikli

Beverley Eikli wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.

After throwing in her secure job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily, The Advertiser, to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.

Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.

Beverly won Choc Lit’s Search for an Australian Star with The Reluctant Bride. Beverley’s Choc Lit novels include: The Reluctant Bride and The Maid of Milan.

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Ruined and Anguished in Love:

Emily is writ in such a clever way of giving the reader a visceral proponent of realism whilst becoming empathic to her plight! I credit this to Eikli, who allows Emily to live her truth as much as repel against the sentimental backlash the outside world would love to expel towards her. Her character is forged in steel, wrought through generations of a family whose bold courage had won them survival. Considered ruined and forever anguished in love, Emily is a woman who you find yourself rooting to find solid footing once more! She’s lost the glint of light and of mirth she held so dear to her breast prior to her circumstances changing overnight. She had a fiery flint of raw tenacity which had my mind flutter back in fond rememberance of Danielle from Ever After. Most especially as there was a scene in the opening chapters of The Reluctant Bride which matched the scene with Danielle and Prince Henry, unto regards of the horse and apples scene!

My mind wandered a bit to remember other stories of marriage of convenience which I hold most dear to memory: the Love Comes Softly series on Hallmark Channel and A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist! Filt with characters like Emily, who felt not only scorned by unrequited love but at a loss to envelope themselves into a new set of circumstances by the kindness of men they were barely acquainted with prior to consenting to marriage! There are novellas writ along these story-lines as well, and I must confess, they are my favourites of the Heartsong Presents editions! You have such a powerful character arc to explore, the reader (such as I) draws a curious brow towards seeking out stories of a similar nature to see how each writer will treat the subject matter!

Emily has stone-walled her heart, in direct fear that she will be plumb miserable if she chooses to accept any show of kindness from Angus her stand-in groom! I sympathised with her as her family started to show how diffident they would be towards her knowing full well the babe had come a bit short of the wedding day! Old train of logic was to punish the women never the men; for if a woman was not strong in will to stand-off the comings of a man, she would be viewed as less worthy in both society and family of status! I was a bit surprised to have learnt they would be sent directly into the workhouses rather than kept within the sanctity of the family!

Reluctant to share her life with another man other than her betrothed and reluctant to admit, she might have found the one man whose sensitive kindness could slowly erase the hardness of her heart! Through reluctance we sometimes find the ability to heal, even if in the opening hours of our restoration we fight tooth and nail against being forgiven! Emily is at the cross-roads of sorting through whether or not she has the strength and faith to render her sorrow for what it is and boldly walk into her future, of which is being given to her outside the scope of how society generally would have vilified her. It’s this dichotomy of difference, which gives Emily the greatest woe in understanding how she is viewed in one way by outside eyes and cherished altogether differently by her husband’s family.

My Review of The Reluctant Bride:

Eikli certainly has a way of opening a novel with a one-two punch! The blushing bride-to-be in this story is Emily, a girl who has become devouted and attached to her bridegroom of whom entered the grave before their nuptials could be taken. Whilst recovering from the sudden loss of her beloved, Emily is given the horrific news of being withchild! The century in which the story unfolds is one where a woman’s life is plumb ruined by any transgression which would put her outside the propriety of society. A child bourne out-of-wedlock was a circumstance beyond repute!

I liked how the espionage starts out as a gentle foreshadow of what is yet to come in pursuant chapters! Gently nudging the audience towards piecing together the shards of Emily’s far-flung French relatives against the foreground knowledge of where Angus’s counter-intelligence work will lead him! I must confess, I was hinged to hope that somehow part of Emily’s past could become redeemed through the actions of her husband, Angus!

Angus on the other hand, is writ as the soldier who would like to have a bit more out of life than a life of serving his country on a stipend upon exit which barely provides enough for his own needs much less a wife’s. He’s a man who never considered himself able to marry due to the pattern of life which had fallen his way. The one heart he was able to give his love to died tragically which leaves him irresolute towards knowing how to appease Emily. He wants to approach her in a loving manner, but is resolved to feeling that all his attempts towards embracing his newlywed wife with affections felt most deep, she will turn on his advances taking in the wrong measure of explanation. A proud man who fell into serving England in covert affairs abroad to thwart the French makes his situation in the novel most alluring! As much as his wanton hope to change part of who he is in order to cultivate a proper life full of love, harmony, and children. For a central male figure of a novel, Angus by far, gives the reader a strong lead in how the traditional character arc of a male can be transformative!

The complexity of the story is further enveloped around the mysterious past of Emily’s maternal past. The narrative slips between Emily’s position in the McCartney’s family (Angus’s kin) and the role her father plays in the deceptive French spy rings. Her father is cold-hearted and calculating to a most evil extent. One of the best repulsively written characters I have encountered! The threads of the tapestry are wrought in such a way, as to give pause and reflection for each tidbit of a clue thus revealed! Your eyes flutter to alert noting the interconnections and the depth of how entwined Emily and Angus are becoming whilst on the verge of sorting through devastating tragedy.

The depth of Eikli’s ability to convey the complexities of marriage are a true compliment to her empathy for the human condition and spirit. She doesn’t shy away from the bold feelings a woman feels whilst betwixt one man’s affection and another man’s love. She doesn’t chide her characters, but rather, allows their flaws to speak for themselves. She gives them the leeway needed to work through what is difficult to accept much less understand. In so doing, I found myself applauding the tone of the novel as it’s not set to a cadence of rhetoric generally wrought in other stories of the same nature. Eikli brings a refreshing insight into the tedium of balance between the choice between life and death.

A historical backdrop in France & the Napoleonic War Era:

In several of my reading pursuits, I have become familiar with how intricately connected the British were to the efforts to overthrow Napoleon out of power. His reign was not studied whilst I was in school but I have come to assert myself in enough historical readings through fictional accounts, to acknowledge not only his brutality but his convinced stance that he would one day take over the world. He was truly maniacal in his approach and his dedication to conquer! Having said that, I was always a bit fascinated by the men and women who devouted their lives to shadow ops and covert missions which would keep the fragile balance between war and peace hanging in perpetual balance! Teetering on the edges, most surely, these daring men and women evoke stories I have always enjoyed reading — they give a second glance at the situation through pairs of eyes who are not readily revealed in regular outlets of historical facts. They give the undercurrent direction of where the most sought after change started to occur and how change ultimately won out over war.

Women’s equality was nonexistent hitherto to encompass her rights to raise a child out of wedlock as much as stand on her own feet if circumstances had erupted out of her control. Women’s rights have been long in coming throughout history, but when you step back into a world where even the right to raise your own child is taken away from you, you start to realise how far we have all come to maintain the rights that we have! I was quite impressed too, with the visual imagery and descriptions of Angus’s fortuitous nature and inclination of knowing exactly how to keep his wife both calm and warm during the worst of her  near-miscarriage sessions!  Soldiers were always needing to be diverse in knowledge, not only for battle and of apprising the field for hidden dangers, but stalwart in their abilities to survive through medical emergencies. I was thankful to see his character was rounded out in being more than whom he first appeared!

The political landscape of France was fraught with surreptitious clandestine activities, its a wonder that either side was able to muddle out truth and fact from the packet of lies spewed out in sport! Such a waxing of time to uncover the tenuous strands of loyalty, whilst fear caught the surge for overthrowing the injustices! I have always been curious about the complexities of the era, yet through this book and others set in the same era of time, I am wrought to find there is nothing simple about the succession of peace during times of war! Details of the nuisances of uncovering little steps towards this end are woven into The Reluctant Bride as one hears gentle whispers tied into the winds.

A note on behalf of ChocLitUK novels:

A level of distinction should be noted in both the presentation of  their novels and in the manner in which each novel is produced! I personally love the comfortable size of the paperbacks, as well as the quality of the print! A smooth surface cover page with semi-raised letterings to draw attention to the title and author’s name. The familiar heart-shaped ChocLit insignia are featured as well! I like how they cross-coordinate the cover features with the story held within the book’s pages! The font and text are easy to read and decipher, and I appreciate the old-fashioned inclusion of writers and titles offered through the Publisher in the back-pages of the novel! A feature I always found to be most delightful in my younger years as it was such a rush of excitement to see which author I would discover next off a recommendation inside the book I had just read! In this particular case, the only noticeable continuity issue I felt was visible is that Emily’s hair isn’t flaxseed brown (of which was reflective of Jessamine) but rather raven black! The model for Emily does portray her downcast countenance which is true to form of how we are greeted by Emily once she is settled-in with Angus! The precipice of when her life starts to undergo its greatest change! Slipping into the worlds created by ChocLit authors is a soothing reproach from the woes of everyday life! All in all, a ChocLit novel is quite the decadent treat for the discernible chocolate connoisseur and romantic reader!

A side note on the language inside their novels can only be said to warm this particular wordsmith’s heart! All the lovely British words are inclusive to the context as much as new words I haven’t oft seen revealed in romances! Words such as envisaged and commodious, only served to whet my appetite for more of their novels, where the age of seeking out a fluidity of words continues to carry-on! Such a wonderful joy for anyone who appreciates stories woven together by Jane Austen and others of the 19th Century!

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“The Recluctant Bride” Book Trailer [A Napoleonic Espionage Romance] by Animoto via Beverley Eikli 

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com This book review is courtesy of ChocLitUK,
ChocLitUK Reviewercheck out my upcoming bookish event and mark your calendars!

#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

*NEWSFLASH* : This marks my first *#ChocLitSaturdays*, where I will be spotlighting a book published by ChocLitUK! Coordinating bonus features will alight on my blog in forthcoming weeks! My next ChocLit review will be for “A Bargain Struck” by Liz Harris, on the 18th of January!

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, and Book Cover were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. The book trailer by Animoto had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in FotoFlexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 11 January, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Britian, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Espionage, France, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Midwives & Childbirth, Modern British Literature, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, The Napoleonic War Era, the Regency era, Women's Fiction

*Blog Book Tour*: Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb

Posted Thursday, 2 January, 2014 by jorielov , , , 9 Comments

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Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb

Becoming Josephine - France Book Tours

Author is a Member of: Historical Novel Society

Visit her Pin(terest) Board: Eclectically French Inspired Lovelies (my impression!)

Author Connections: Facebook | Site | Blog

Converse on Twitter: #BecomingJosephine OR Tweet @MsHeatherWebb

Published by: Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), 31 December 2013

Available Format: Trade Paperback | E-Book | Page Count: 320

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on “Becoming Josephine” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by France Book Tours. I received “Becoming Josephine”  in exchange for an honest review by the publisher Plume. The book released on 31st December 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I simply adore historical fiction, including historical biographical fiction, which I think this falls under, as it’s about Bonaparte and his wife! I like the backdrop of the story, and how strong Rose had to become in order to overtake her plight! You see, I have a bit of a long-standing admiration for the French Revolution, even though by many estimates I have only just begun my sojourn into this fascinating section of literature! It’s true I was first inspired to seek out more French Literature selections after having borrowed and read quite a few from my local library which fall inside Children’s Literature selections, in as much as my appreciation for seeing a select few classic motion pictures on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) involving Marie Antoinette over the past few years! My attention is thus esteemed to continue to seek out stories set before, during, and after the French Revolution! What can I say? Once you become attached to the living characters of whom most of the books are based upon, in as much as the characters created to walk amongst their living counterparts, you find that one book or five is not quite enough to fully encompass the history of what is left behind to be known!

Stemming from this short history of mine with French Literature, there was a cursory exploration of Bonaparte whilst I was eighteen! Having ducked out of a heavy rainstorm and into the warmth glow of a bookshoppe I had accidentally discovered along a main street – I took the balm of books against nature’s thunderstorm! As I wandered around, I remember finding a rather curious little book, tattered yet readable, (as the bookshoppe sold new and used copies!) about the life of NapolĂ©on Bonaparte! Intrigued I purchased the book and stored it inside a rain-proof bookslip! Ever since that aplomb discovery I have whet my appetite for more! I would be curious to learn how you alighted to read about the French?

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Heather WebbAuthor Biography:

Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full-time novel-writing and freelance editing. Her début, BECOMING JOSEPHINE will release December 31, 2013 from Plume/Penguin.

 When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her blog, Between the Sheets (www.Heatherwebb.net/blog). Stop on by!

Synopsis of the Novel:

Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.

Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.

After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.

BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.

SEX & VIOLENCE: There is a little of each, though I didn’t go into great detail in either category.

 

Forging a path where uncertainty reigns:

When I was first introduced to Rose (later, Josephine), I was empathic towards her plight and situation straightaway, as who couldn’t sympathise with a sister mourning her sister’s sudden death? Especially if one would feel indebted to believing they were the root cause of said death? I was attempting to imagine the thoughts and emotions not only her sister’s death evoked but how that singular event shaped her for the path she was embarking to walk as she made her way towards France, towards Paris, and towards the great unknown of marriage to a man she never had met, much less knew. Although I am oft wrapped inside a ‘mail-order bride’ story, this one felt more like an ordained arranged marriage to where the outcome would befit the family moreso than the bride! Such the calamity of ages past, and yet, the realism with which the author pens the opening bits of the story give us a true glimpse of the horror Rose faced as she disembarked onto the docks!

I couldn’t help but consider Rose might not have realised just how deep she would become involved with creating a transformation which would replace her original self with the one she would soon invent!? You start to see pieces of the transformation shaping in the early chapters, as she starts to find quirks of hers are not kosher to the Parisians way of living. Little things such as her accent, her manner of speech, her inclination of honesty, her lack of a proper wardrobe, all acting against her in an attempt to create a better impression on her peers and fiancĂ©! Your heart warms to her, as she starts to sort out how to navigate this world where propriety and posh behaviour reign!

She would come to know the solemn truths of marriage, of men and their infidelities and of the way in which women were ill-treated by their husbands. She gets a dashing blush of this ahead of her vows, but I think the reality of her new life took a bit longer to fully sink into her conscience. Where other women might have resolved that this was their fate to bear, Rose took the opposite path and decided that she was worth more than what the cards had dealt her! She decided to right the wrongs, and seek out a path which would lead her to an enlightened truth about herself and her station.

My Review of Becoming Josephine:

Becoming Josephine by Heather WebbShe left her Creole home an innocent of youth, jettisoning herself into a life in France which would test the strength of her inner resolve. Where she would have to eradicate her natural being of self into a transformed Parisian woman of elegance, whose strength would yield to power. She took on the challenge as an understudy would in a theatrical play. Learning through being bold in her choices of dress, style, mannerisms, and speech. Each nuisance she could alter of her previous life, she would discard straight-away in preference for discovering a better fit for high society.

Watching Rose grow in her strength as she separated from her first husband, Alexandre, she starts to find the courage she felt she had lost. Instinct of motherhood guides her towards carving out a stipend for her son Eugene and daughter, Hortense whilst she starts to put the pieces of her own fractured life back together. Her resilience is a lesson for all women who find themselves facing circumstances that they were not expecting. The fact she was gaining her independence on the eve of revolution was not lost on me. Perhaps without her circumstances jaded, she might not have had the ability to rise again? Or, rather she might not have found the strength to survive through the worst bits of the revolution. She walked through Hades in order to survive to live a life she could no longer imagine possible.

I found an undercurrent theme of which I had been exposed to in my readings during 2013, wherein certain women who were once cloistered to living life by man’s rules were coming to realise the true freedom lay in the courage to free themselves from the invisible bonds which held them hostage. I am always attracted to stories where strong women are at the heart of the narrative and in Becoming Josephine I was not disappointed! Josephine emerges out of the wings of despair as a pivotal woman of her time who could wield more than even she (I feel!) could desire! She takes the boldest step into the future by reinventing herself past the point of recognition, in order to find a freedom she had never known.

France set to Revolution:

The backdrop of Becoming Josephine is quintessentially Revolutionary France, where the French hinged between the start of the revolt and the ensuing Reign of Terror. A shuddering of emotions always rings through me whilst thinking on the harder hitting realities of the age which the French had to endure. Webb has a way of acknowledging the back-story of history behind the coattails of the character’s lives in such a way, as to gently guide the reader forward and through, rather than shocking us to our core. The revolution ekes out in small fashion, where rumours of revolt start to erupt in the salons of the day, and where the commoners start to realise they need to launch into a retreat from Royal rule. Part of me understands this and part of me grieves for the loss of the Royal family, due to how brutal the Revolution turns and ends.

And, yet at the heart of the center core of the Revolution you have Josephine and Napoleon, two people I never thought I’d see come together, now that I know the origins of Josephine’s past. The tapestry of fashion is lit and gilded behind the tumult which has been brewing to explode. Interspersed with the flamboyance of cloth and jewels, you gather the sense of urgency in the fever of desperation.

Gratitude to the author, Ms. Webb:

For staying true to her word, wherein she mentioned at the end of the book’s synopsis she had tempered the severity of inclusion of sex and violence. I am generally on the fence with choices writers make in their stories on both counts, as there are lines I think are too oft crossed, where a more delicate omission could have sufficed instead.  In this particular story, Ms. Webb gives the reader a rendering of the situations and events which befit the era of the story’s origins but on the level that even a sensitive reader could walk through the scenes without blushing too severely or cringing at the imagery painted in narrative. Even though she does plainly give the raw visceral imagery its due course. She doesn’t allow it to take over completely, but allows it to fade in the background. Except for what occurs in Rose’s home of Martinique and what happens when she returns to Paris, in which the horror of the attacks are in full measure. Rather than focus solely on the horror that erupted she gave the smaller details of the aftermath which proved just as difficult if not moreso to read. Such a horrid time in history for the survivors to have lived through. She chose instead to direct the focus on Rose’s rise into the persona of Josephine who became the woman’s edificial Phoenix.

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The “Becoming Josephine” Virtual Book Tour Roadmap:

Becoming Josephine - France Book Tours

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

on my Bookish Events Featured on JLAS!

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I propose this Question to my readers: What do you think is the overall appeal to reading about the Bonaparte’s and of Revolutionary France in general? What inspires us to dig deeper into the heart of the history which has been left behind for us to dissect? What gives us pause and reason to continue to seek out stories of what was happening in the shadows of history being writ as it was lived? Do you have a favourite coaxing storyline that gets you excited to pick up your next reading which is set in this historical era?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Becoming Josephine” as well as Heather Webb’s photograph and biography, the blog tour badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 2 January, 2014 by jorielov in 18th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Debut Novel, France, France Book Tours, French Revolution, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte, Reign of Terror, Revolutionary France, The Napoleonic War Era