Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Thomas Bouregy & Company, Inc.
Genre: Historical Fiction
(Received for an honest review from Pump Up Your Book)
Excerpt from Consequence
In the wake of a duel, Marcel Blake, Duke of Lear, an infamous rake and gamester, leaves London to visit his cousin in Paris. Here he meets and falls in love with the British Ambassador’s daughter, Julie. Thinking she would be horrified if she knew of his reputation, he fights the attraction but when he is wounded whilst saving her from the unwanted attentions of a would-be suitor, he finds she returns his affection.
However, revenge and the fates conspire against them and when, at their wedding reception, Julie is maliciously informed of Marcel’s previous life-style and told that he only married her to please the king, she is devastated and an insurmountable gulf exists between them. Can Marcel prove his reformation and woo his wife, or is the desolation she feels impossible to overcome? Will they eventually find happiness or is the perpetrators revenge too complete?
In harmony with the great Regency writers of the past comes a book by British author Hazel Statham. Consquence is a novel that historical romance readers will adore. Statham who is influenced by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, brings readers a tale of a love and betrayal. Readers will love Statham's traditional style and her ability to bring the story to life with elegance and grace. A must read for historical fiction fans!
Marcel Blake, the Duke of Lear has always lived life on his own terms. A rake, a gambler and a womanizer, some would say. And it's no secret to anyone how he has gone on. Hoping to turn over a new leaf, he joins his cousin in Paris and meets the beautiful and intrepid Julie Markham, daughter to the British Ambassador. Marcel is instantly attracted to Julie but denies his feelings because he believes she would not be able to understand his past. But when he finds her being assaulted by another man he cannot help but step in. When he realizes that Julie has feelings for him as well, he struggles with whether to tell her of his past or not. Deciding that it was too late, their relationship grows and they fall in love. Unfortunately, revenge is in the air and Julie is informed on her wedding night of Marcel's past and the possibility that he married her out of convenience and to please the king. Devastated, Julie feels betrayed and a the distance between her and her husband grows vast. But Marcel isn't giving up... he has to prove his love to her and show her how much he has changed before it's too late.
Author Hazel Statham has a knack for writing in the traditional style of great authors like Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Her books give off an elegance and stateliness that is sometimes missing in the latest historical romances. Her latest book Consequence, releasing August 5th is no exception. The Regency period is a popular era for romance novels, but these days things have changed from the original template, where authors told the story without finding it necessary to go into great detail about what happened behind closed doors. Statham proves that there is definitely still a market for romances that are rich and decadent, but not necessarily too "hot" to handle. I loved the fact that she was able to convey to the reader the anticipation and urgency of Marcel and Julie's feelings without overdoing it.
Marcel is the epitome of what readers expect from a great hero. He is a man with a bad boy reputation. He has lived his life on his own terms and paid little heed to his reputation. But as happens with most men, he eventually grows up a bit and realizes that there is more to life than gambling and drinking. Once he sets his mind to becoming a man of substance and taking his ducal responsibilities seriously there is a great change in him. I liked the fact that Statham allowed Marcel to be flawed but also showed the growth in him as a character throughout the novel. Julie is drawn to his commanding presence and I'm sure though she didn't know of his past she could sense that edginess within him, that wildness that comes across in his personality. The author does such a great job of allowing the reader to learn about him without actually telling them about him. His actions spoke loudly about how much he had changed.
Julie is also a character that readers will enjoy learning about. She is portrayed as a young woman who has purpose and intelligence, yet she was somewhat blinded by the Duke of Lear. She was so attracted to him that she didn't see that everyone else knew about his past except her. Perhaps she was blinded by love, but whatever the circumstances, when she does find out the truth she feels betrayed and completely blind sided. I think that readers will be able to identify with Julie and her situation because not many people are without heartache in their life. In some instance or another they have had the same or similar problems with trust. Statham gives readers a character that will resonate with them and also shows that sometimes things don't go the way you thought they would, but it's how you deal with the changes in plans that matters.
I recommend this book to readers who love a good traditional love story in the vein of favorites like Austen and Heyer. I recommend it to historical fiction fans who enjoy reading about the antics of the Ton and the men and women of the Regency world. Impeccably researched and follow of lavish period detail, this is novel historical romance readers won't want to miss. Complex characters, interesting plot and a sense of elegance and grace make this book one of my favorites of the year!
Consequence will be available August 5th from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off ever since she was fifteen. Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie. Apart from writing, her other ruling passion is animals, and until recently she had served as the treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.
Consequence is Hazel's second novel for AVALON. The Portrait is also available.