Click here to buy the e-novella on Amazon
I have to thank Mary of Buried Under Romance for letting me know that this title was on sale -- Lila DiPasqua had been on my radar for a while, and I was intrigued by the premise of this book.
Nicolas de Savignac is the ambitious musketeer tasked with uncovering the identity of Gilbert LeDuc, who has been printing scandalous and incendiary (but true) narratives about some of France's most prominent men. He has narrowed the list down to three people: sisters, who regularly attend his estranged grandmother's literary salon. Anne, Henriette, and Camille all have a reason to be Gilbert LeDuc -- they've all encountered the worst examples of the male gender, and would be justified to take revenge by writing about them -- but, which of the them is actually doing the writing?
Le Loup, as Nicolas is known among his fellow Musketeers, earned his reputation as relentless: once he has a goal in mind, he will stop at nothing in order to achieve it, and Nicolas has a lot to prove: his late older brother was one of the best Musketeers, and Nicolas wants to exceed him in every way. But, when Nicolas meets Anne, his resolve falters.
Anne feels the same intense physical attraction as Nicolas, and desire becomes his greatest ally, and obstacle -- his liaison with Anne allows him to access into her rooms and into her heart, but Nicolas is also afraid of what he might discover.
Lila DiPasqua portrays Nicolas's confusion as he wrestles with his duty to the king and his desire for Anne, which he knows is more than just a passing fancy.
I enjoyed, very much, the very interesting way the author decided to resolve Nicolas's dilemma. I would have loved to read more about Anne's sisters, but DiPasqua's next book is about Nicolas's superior officer (who seems a bit grumpy), Tristan de Tiersonnier.
Little Red Writing is the 5th instalment in Lila DiPasqua's Fiery Tale series, which includes some novels and novellas.
* * *
Click here to buy the book on Amazon
Yes, Sleeping Beau was actually published before Little Red Writing, but I'm writing these reviews based on the sequence that I read them -- and I am so glad that the author also has this book on sale, because I really wanted to read more of Lila DiPasqua's Fiery Tales.
What is fascinating about Sleeping Beau is that it has historical roots: the hero is actually based on a real-life, historical figure who had a really sad/scandalous history.
Years before, Adrien d'Aspe had a midnight encounter with a mysterious lady who had drugged him and taken advantage of him -- to this date, Adrien is haunted by the lady's sensuality, and still yearns to discover her identity.
And he finds her again at a most unlikely place: at an event that he didn't want to attend. He may not have a clear recollection of her face, but certain aspects of her were memorable -- but the lady denies she's the woman Adrien is looking for.
Catherine never thought she would encounter Adrien again, believing him to be a visiting foreigner when she decided to drug his wine and lose her virginity, in order to stop a marriage arranged by her father. Her plan failed, but, now, Catherine is a widow and is out of mourning, and is about to get engaged to, Philbert de Baillet, a man she considers very "comfortable" --
There's a bit of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in how Adrien's half-sister, Charlotte, begs him to dally with Catherine, who is poised to marry her lover, Philbert, but Adrien did not want to participate in his half-sister's schemes.
But Adrien doesn't want Catherine to marry Philbert either.
What the author plays at here is the very limited amount of time that Catherine and Adrien have: Catherine agrees to an affair with Adrien, but it will stop when Philbert arrives. It creates such an urgency with each encounter, and I loved that they were two adults who want to find out if what they felt all those years ago was real or not -- no promises, no future plans. Just two people living and enjoying the moment.
Sleeping Beau is the 4th instalment in Lila DiPasqua's Fiery Tale series, which includes some novels and novellas. To find out more about Lila DiPasqua and her books, click below: