In THE BOOKSELLER’S DAUGHTER, an educated young woman in pre-Revolution France is reunited with the one man she still desired from a time before her father’s death had forced her into the service of a brutish aristocratic family. Unfortunately for Marie-Laure, the mystery man is revealed to be Joseph, a Viscount and second son of that very same family. It’s only by his quick thinking and a stroke of luck that the two of them will finally come together with a love that must survive both his villainous relatives and another person’s attempt to frame Joseph for an infamous murder.
Marie-Laure and Joseph first meet as intellectuals and apparent equals, although his ragged appearance still hints at a secret privileged background. She saved his life back then, and now that they’ve renewed their acquaintance, it’s his duty to do the same for her. His family is as depraved and rapacious as most other French aristocrats before the Revolution, and it’s they who Joseph must save her from, more than once. As Joseph and Marie-Laure’s lives become intertwined, their story moves from the isolated countryside to the heart of unrest in Paris, all the while testing their love even as his family works hard to keep them apart.
From the very start, Marie-Laure displays her unyielding spirit and indomitable will, and we see that despite her lowly status, it is clearly she who is too good for Joseph. But as THE BOOKSELLER’S DAUGHTER progresses, Joseph is forced to come to terms with his useless existence, and by the end, he has grown emotionally into a fully adult man worthy of her heart. Even though I had an idea of how and where they would ultimately end up together, the journey there kept me riveted the entire time, and made the seemingly inevitable ending even more enjoyable for me. It’s a wonderful historical romance well worth reading.
The worst of times, the most passionate of loves.
In her family’s bookshop, Marie-Laure Vernet had adventure, romance, and mystery at her fingertips. And intrigue, in the form of an enigmatic stranger as unsettlingly attractive as the scandalous books he smuggled. But he disappeared, and so did the bookshop’s meager fortunes.
Forced to work as a scullery maid, Marie-Laure struggles to keep the china in one piece—and herself away from the aristocrats’ wandering hands. Until unexpectedly, the Duc’s estranged son comes home, and Marie-Laure once again finds herself face-to-face with the fascinating stranger.
Joseph has braved every conceivable danger during his secret adventures outside France, but he knows no one is in greater peril than a pretty servant in the employ of his lecherous father. And the only way to protect her is to pretend to be her lover.
Behind his bedroom door, their chaste friendship blooms into a connection more erotic than the stories in any forbidden book. But desire, even love, may not be enough to overcome the forces society has arrayed against them…
Warning: Contains a relationship between a couple who love books almost as much as they love each other.