Friday, May 16, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Dreams of Lilacs

Dreams of Lilacs (De Piget - Book 16) by Lynn Kurland

Publication Date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Jove
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0515153478
ISBN-13: 978-05151534477

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Jove)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Lynn Kurland on the WEB: website, blogfacebook, goodreads

Books in the series

De Piget

  1. Another Chance to Dream
  2. If I Had You
  3. Dreams of Stardust
  4. When I Fall in Love
  5. The Gift of Christmas Past (in The Christmas Cat)
  6. One Enchanted Evening
  7. This Is All I Ask
  8. The More I See You
  9. From This Moment On
10. To Kiss in the Shadows (in Tapestry)
11. Stardust of Yesterday
12. Til There Was You
13. One Magic Moment
14. All For You
15. Roses in Moonlight
16. Dreams of Lilacs

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Dreams of Lilacs, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


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 . . .


Lynn Kurland's 16th book in her de Piaget series is a medieval romance with a touch of mystery. Kurland's, Dreams of Lilacs story continues the adventures of the children of Rhys and Gwennelyn de Piaget. Readers who are familiar with the series, know that it is highly character driven and does not involve time travel as some of Kurland's other books do. It is a straight forward love story from a different time. Kurland, who is well known for her fantasy titles, has done as excellent job returning to her historical romance roots with this book. A great addition to a long running series.

What I liked:

I am a fan of Lynn Kurland whether is her high fantasy series, or her romances featuring time travel. But this is the first of the de Piaget series that I have read. Coming into the series at book sixteen did provide a few challenges, but never the less, Kurland continues to impress me with her writing. Apparently, each of the de Piaget books can be read as stand alone titles. Dreams of Lilacs certainly fell into that category, but I became intrigued with Isabelle's family and now want to read more about them. Kurland's books always feature well developed characters and stories that readers will find enchanting. This one was a sweet love story with a bit of mystery that kept my attention throughout and made me appreciate a good well written love story.

Isabelle was a quite a young woman. When she finds out that her family is in danger, she goes to drastic lengths to help them. Even cutting her hair and pretending to be a boy to secure passage on a ship to France. I loved the shipwreck twist in the plot and Isabelle's amnesia. It provided a great way for her to meet her hero, Gervase. I thought Isabelle was cunning and clever. She may not have been the daring beauty her sister Amanda was, but she had her own strengths and I was glad that Kurland allowed her to see her worth and challenge her ideas about herself. To me that was one of the best parts of the novel. 

Gervase was one of my favorite kinds of heroes. He was an honorable man, but a bit broody. Having once been an knight of France, he was injured in a fire that almost took his life. This had left him on edge, feeling somewhat unworthy and dealing with his disabilities in by being hard to get along with and grumpy. He wasn't an alpha male character, he didn't press his will upon Isabelle, but he garnered respect and gave off a sense of authority that felt right for the character. The mystery surrounding who was trying to kill him and how it tied in with what was happening with Isabelle's family was intriguing though somewhat easy to figure out. 

I loved the secondary characters from Isabelle's brothers, Miles and Robin to Gervase's brothers who Isabelle ends up tutoring. I thought the mistaken identity angle of Isabelle, a lady, working as scullery maid was fun and added a great deal of humor to the story as well. When the brothers arrive to save their sister from her plight, things get even more interesting as they get in on the mystery surrounding Gervase as well. Kurland proves once again that a story involving family is always appealing in this kind of genre. Now I have to go back and read all the others about this amazing bunch of people.

What I didn't like:

As I said, there was a bit of predictability to this one, in the fact that there are very few reasons why someone is out to kill a Lord. In historical romance it is generally to take his title and lands and has to be someone closely associated with him. I liked the mystery aspect of the story, but it was a bit light. Most of this book is centered securely on the romantic elements and left little time for the mystery. 

Bottom Line:

I liked this one a lot and I want to read more of the de Piaget books now that I have had a taste of this interesting family. I thought that the hero and the heroine were well suited for each other and that their relationship developed in a slow and satisfying manner. There isn't much heat, but it isn't necessary with all of the other good things about it. 

Dreams of Lilacs is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag! 

About the Author:

Lynn Kurland is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels and novellas including the Nine Kingdom series, the de Piaget Family series, and the McLeod Family series.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Dreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 30th.

1. Please leave a comment about any books you may have read with a French historical setting. 

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Lisa Brown said...

i have read a number that take place in the regency period england, i enjoyed them.

holdenj said...

The only one than comes to mind is one about Joan of Arc that I can't remember the name of! This looks good too, glad you can read them as stand alones. Thanks!

Rita said...

I have read a few but it was some time ago.
I love Lynn's books and have many of them in my book case.

Raquel Muniz said...

A few come to mind: C.W. Gortner's The Confessions of Catherine De Medici and Heather Webb's Becoming Josephine. Great books.

bn100 said...

can't think of any

Lily B said...

I don't remember reading any unfortunately, but I so want to. It sounds fantastic.

penney said...

I have read a lot of regency period England but not from French regency. This sounds really good, thanks for the review and chance to win.

Charlotte said...

Haven't dread anything.

jmcgaugh said...

Some favorite historical romances I've read that take place partly in France are Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades and Devil's Cub and Laurel O'Donnel's The Angel and the Prince.

traveler said...

I read historical French books about Marie Antoinette. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Brooke Bumgardner said...

I know I've read historical Regencies set in London with 'visits' to Paris.

Natasha said...

I can't think of any but I know I have probably read some!
Thanks for the chance to win!

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't really read any books with a French historical setting. Only ones set in a English, Roman, or American historical setting.


Texas Book Lover said...

I can't think of any off the top of my head!

Anonymous said...

I have read Historical books, but can't remember one set in France. This book sounds good. Thanks for the chance to win it. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Leah Weller (leahluvsmedieval) said...

TO BE QUEEN: A NOVEL OF THE EARLY LIFE OF ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE by Christy English was very good. Quite a bit of the story was set in France.

Love, love, love Kirkland's stories! You will love her de Piaget stories. I want to go on a total re-read now. :)

lag123 said...

I don't remember having read any French Historicals.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

CrystalGB said...

I don't remember reading any French historicals.