Title: The Orange Grove
Genre: Historical Fiction
Expected publication: November 25th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)
Blois, 1705. The château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise simmers with rivalry and intrigue. Henriette d’Augustin, one of five mistresses of the duc, lives at the chateau with her daughter. When the duc’s wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously undermines a new mistress, Letitia, Henriette is forced to choose between position and morality. She fights to maintain her status whilst targeted by the duchesse who will do anything to harm her enemies. The arrival of charismatic tarot reader, Romain de Villiers, further escalates tensions as rivals in love and domestic politics strive for supremacy.
In a society where status is a matter of life and death, Henriette must stay true to herself, her daughter, and her heart, all the while hiding a painful secret of her own.
I was drawn in right away. The story and the cover are so intriguing.
The story takes place in 1705 at the chateau of Duc D'Amboise where he has his wife, Charlotte, and his 5 mistresses. Henriette is our main character and she used to be friends with Charlotte until a new mistress, Letitia, joins them. Charlotte has lost it and has become malicious and wants the new mistress gone.
Honestly, I was hooked from page 1. This author really knows how to bring a world and characters to life. Henriette was a really interesting character and I did feel for her. Her secret was sad and I was certainly shocked by it. Didn't expect that at all.
I go back and forth with Charlotte. I understand her motives, but I can't condone her actions toward other people. Maybe punish the husband instead and not the mistresses. He is the jerk. But he is a man of the time and has many women at his disposal and he doesn't see the issue. I'm surprised Charlotte didn't lose her marble sooner because of all the women. But yes, Charlotte was an interesting "baddie" for the story. You can see the whys but her actions are not excusable.
Romain was fun even though he made me mad.
I liked Letitia even though she was sooo naive.
I wanted to shake Hugo. He wasn't a bad guy but he was dumb. What did you think was going to happen? Having all these women in your life??
The story was a quick read and I got it done in one sitting. I honestly could not put it down! I had to know what was going to happen to all these characters. I loved how nothing in this story was black and white. It really does depict real life. No one is innocent and people are flawed.
Now the ending left me wanting more. I felt like there needed to be more. Maybe I am being selfish? But I honestly felt like this could be longer and I wanted more. I also wasn't amused with what happened to Charlotte. Gah.
Overall, I really liked this! I read this in one sitting. The characters were intriguing and I had to know what was going to happen. Nothing was black and white and even our baddie wasn't evil. She was hurt by the man she loved. But again...she is punishing the wrong person. If you need a good historical fiction that is a quick read I recommend this one. I'll stamp this with 4 stars.