Hugely enjoyable historic romance with a rich plot, exciting adventure and a sexy age-gap marriage.
Love’s Charade by Jane Feather is a must-read for historic romance fans. As well as enjoying the love story, I learnt a lot about the French Revolution and enjoyed the detail of the setting.
Seventeen-year-old Danielle de St Varennes is rescued from the streets by 36-year-old Justin, Earl of Linton. There’s rather a lot of extreme effort to preserve her honour and reputation (I did wonder about the plausibility and necessity of some of this, given he plans to marry her anyway, and given she is escaping a massacre and later revolution). But eventually he gets her to her grandparents’ house in Cornwall and then rather rapidly marries her. I might have liked a bit of resistance from her at this point: she acquiesces immediately.
However Danielle then proceeds exactly as she pleases and they have endless rows, with Justin increasingly realising he can’t control her.
Their relationship is quite erotically charged and there’s a nice juicy drawn-out wedding night scene:
“Lie on the bed now, Danielle.” The soft command was enforced by his hands pushing her gently backwards.
It’s possible readers looking for romance will find less to enjoy in the later stages, and you may wish to skim these. It’s a reasonably long book: pretty much a full romance novella by the end of Part 1 so you could almost stop there if you wanted to. However I would recommend reading to the end as there is continued relationship development as well as adventure and intrigue.