The Indispensable Wife
by Philippa Lodge
GENRE: Historical Romance
Aurore was delighted when a marriage was arranged with the boy she loved, her older brother’s friend Dominique, Comte de Bures. But in a few years the first rush of joy has worn off, and their promising life seems ruined by loss, betrayal, and misunderstanding.
One terrifying morning mercenaries overrun their château and usurpers take Aurore hostage. Miles away at Versailles, where he is required to dance attendance on Louis XIV, Dominique is nearly killed by a crossbow bolt.
Escaping, Aurore travels with a troupe of itinerant musicians, hiding in the open while discovering hidden resources within herself.
Dom sets out to find his wife. He needs his old life back. He needs revenge. But his lands, his title, and his honor mean nothing unless he can win back the love of his indispensable wife.
Immediately Aurore, dressed in peasant homespun like a dull sparrow in a flock of exotic birds, flew out of the door. She cried, “Dominique!” and threw herself into his arms. He took a step back at the impact and held her lush little body tightly against his own, his gloved hands grasping at the laces that crisscrossed her back.
She started chattering almost immediately. “Did you see the king, too? He said he would talk to you. Did he tell you? I am sure he did, if you are here and the Coucher is over. I am so relieved, so pleased. Oh, Dominique, we will get our home back, chéri.”
Dominique was unable to reply. Her leap had knocked the wind out of him, and the only thing he could think to do was to kiss her. Right there in a hallway of the Palais de Vincennes, with aristocratic peers mincing past on high-heeled shoes and servants pretending to not notice, he kissed his wife, his life and soul, the way he had wanted to since the moment he saw her standing on a little stage in a square in some tiny village north of Paris.
He came to himself a short while later, when he stumbled as he turned to press Aurore against a wall. He set her down and took a small step back as she opened her eyes drowsily to smile at him in the way she had when they were first married.
“So this is what the aristocracy is coming to, then?” said a sharp voice behind him.
Dominique turned quickly, shoving Aurore behind him, his hand automatically reaching for the knife which he did not have; Cédric’s valet had complained that it spoiled the line of his waistcoat.
Henri wrinkled his nose. “It’s a good thing our brother had your back, you know. All this kissing would drive anyone to violence.”
Let me be frank and say that this book was unique and different for me. Sure I read historical romance. I’ll even read medival, time travel historical romance but this is my first historical romance that was set in France and that deals with the court of Louis XIV. One of my favorite classical authors is Alexandre Dumas. You know him. He wrote The Man in the Iron Mask, The Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After and The Three Musketeers. And yes, I’ve read them all. Unabridged and with a French/English dictionary at my side. In fact, I’ve read them all at least times. So you may ask, well you have read historical romance set during the French court. Yes and no. Dumas was not known for his romance. Historical yes, bloody, plenty of intrigue and yes, all for one and all for one. But a true romance…no. Okay, bromance. He he!
Ms. Lodge reminded me how much I loved reading Dumas. The setting, the court intrigue but more importantly, the characters. This is a character driven book that left me bereft when I finished. I wanted more of Aurore and Dominique. Plus, I’m a sucker for a married couple in a romance that needs a push to remember why they are in love and married in the first place. Ms. Lodge gave that to me and more in this compelling and intriguing book.
Aurore and Dom have their problems just like any other married couple. They are stubborn, damaged and angry. As any couple can tell you they are nothing without the other. Too bad they didn’t realize that until the kidnapping and almost assassination. Stubborn as mules. Sadly though before any of that, they had taken each other for granted and drifted apart from each other.
Why truly sets this book apart is the how Ms. Lodge was able to make the couple realistic. They almost missed their chance at happiness based on their stubbornness but she managed to make it plausible and enjoyable to read. I loved the conflict between these two. Whether it be from either the inside or out. This pair had almost way too much going on but I really liked that about the book. Some would find it confusing but trust me…read Dumas. Now THAT ‘S confusing. LOL!
Overall, I loved how Ms. Lodge plots the story and her characters come to life for me. I really felt like I was King Louis’ court and the French countryside. The twists and turns that these two have to overcome make for an awesome read for me just when I needed it. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Lodge in the future.
p.s. I might actually re-read Dumas. Aramis is calling my name. 🙂
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Philippa Lodge has been an avid reader since she asked her mother to point out where it said “Ma” in Little House in the Big Woods. She read everything she could get her hands on until grad school in French Studies, at which time she lost her reading mojo. Only through the twin discoveries of Harry Potter and romance has she gotten her groove back and gone back to the stuff she loved about seventeenth century France: kings, swords, opulence, and love. She lives in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA with her husband, three children, two cats, and a head full of courtesans (Oo la la!). She does the newsletter for her local chapter of the Romance Writers of America.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Philippa will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.