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An Age of Hedonism and Enlightenment - an Editorial Review of "Noble Satyr"

Book Blurb:

1740s France and England—the age of hedonism and enlightenment.

Antonia must flee the Court of Versailles and the predatory schemes of the Comte de Salvan. She orchestrates an escape with the unwitting assistance of the all-powerful Duke of Roxton, a man she has been warned against as too dangerous for her to know. Roxton is an unlikely savior—famously arrogant, promiscuous, and sinister. Antonia’s unquestioning belief in him may just be his salvation, and her undoing. A classic Beauty and the Beast tale, this prizewinning historical was inspired by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons dangereuses and is a homage to Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades. Winner of the $10,000 Woman’s Day/Random House Romantic Fiction Prize, Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Medalist, B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree, Romance Writers of Australia finalist for Romantic Novel of the Year.

It is the golden age of French aristocratic life, the glittering court of Louis XV. Beneath the posturing and hedonism lies a seething hotbed of intrigue, deceit, and treachery. An enchanting and powerful love story between two people who have all the odds stacked against them. I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of this passionate romance, with added action and adventure, derring-do, and some narrow escapes! For readers who like detail there’s a wealth of carefully chosen gems to enhance the picture. This is a wonderful read for romance and historical fiction fans. Well-crafted plot, historical accuracy, and believable characters. I loved it. — Fiona Ingram, Readers’ Favorite 5 STAR MEDAL WINNER

Lucinda Brant weaves an intelligent and intricately layered tale of scandal, intrigue and enduring love. This is so much more than a love story—it’s a story of culture, political events and the plight of those who must live in the tempest. The romance between Roxton and Antonia was so well-written. Antonia may be young and virginal but, having lived in the licentious court of Louis XV, she is certainly not naïve in the ways of the world and has no illusions about Roxton. Bored with the world of excess around him, it is easy to see why Roxton would be enchanted by Antonia’s intelligence, openness, and spirited nature. Noble Satyr will certainly remain on the shelf as a keeper. —Carol Cork and Eileen Dandashi, Booktalk with Eileen 5 STAR KEEPER SHELF

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Author Bio:

LUCINDA BRANT is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning Georgian historical romances and mysteries. She writes about families, creating worlds that are full of history, heart, and Happily Ever Afters.

Lucinda has university degrees in history, politics, law, and a post graduate degree in education. Now a full-time writer, she has had many careers: university administrator; selling merch at rock concerts; mentor to first year medical students; and history and geography teacher at an exclusive boarding school for young ladies.

Lucinda lives in the middle of a koala reserve, so the neighbors are cute and cuddly and sleep all day. She has been researching and reading about the 18th Century for forty years, and still finds the Georgian era just as fascinating now as then.

Lucinda is a proud member of: The Jewels of Historical Romance; Novelists Inc.; The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi); and the Audio Publishers Association (APA).

Lucinda's many awards include:

$10,000 Random House/Woman’s Day Romantic Fiction Prize for NOBLE SATYR

12x IndieBRAG Medallion

8x Readers' Favorite medalist

3x finalist for the RONE award. DAIR DEVIL awarded the RONE Historical Novel of the Year

Chatelaine Romantic Fiction First In Category Award winner for DAIR DEVIL

2x finalist for the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (RBY) award for NOBLE SATYR and DEADLY ENGAGEMENT

"Quizzing glass and quill, into my sedan chair and away! The 1700s rock!"

Editorial Review:

Noble Satyr is a historical romance novel set during the 1700’s, location hopping between England and France. During this time period, Court gossip, intrigue and scandals constituted the lives of the noblemen and women who were born and bred into these circles. The novel depicts this period wonderfully through rich descriptions of the food, culture, clothes, customs, beliefs, routines, and rituals that were interwoven into the characters’ lives.

Additionally, the novel is full of well-rounded characters whereby readers truly feel connected to them and the troubles they face. Readers are whisked along as the journeys of their lives unfold. Readers get a full perspective of each character’s outward motivations as well as the inner workings of their subconscious and mind. Each character is flawed in their own way. For instance, one of the main characters, Duke Roxton, is aloof and standoffish. He has a closed heart and cold manner. Antonia, on the other hand, is young, gullible, and excessively naïve. However, readers come to appreciate the flaws as well as how the characters overcome and integrate them. The author has executed this with the utmost skill and finesse. It is worth noting that this is not only true of the primary characters but there is also growth and development to be seen in the secondary characters as well. By having all characters play integral roles within the novel greatly enriches it and breathes life into the pages making the story feel as if it is happening in real life.

With regards to the plot, readers are taken on a whirlwind love story between the young and beautiful Antonia Moran and the arrogant, rakish Duke Roxon. While the book follows a typical enemies to lovers trope between them, it is executed with perfection. As with most love stories, it would not be complete without a villain. The Comte De Salvan and his son the Vicomte d’Ambert provide the perfect villains. Salvan is a pretentious little man who is used to a luxurious life but finds his fortunes dwindling drastically. His son is a morose and deeply troubled boy who has been heavily affected by his mother’s suicide and his father’s lies. Salvan has created what he believes to be a foolproof plot to have his son marry Antonia and thus inherit her inheritance. It is also an ill-kept secret that he actually wants to dispose of his son in some way and thus have Antonia for himself.

Antonia is a distant relation of Duke Roxton and is initially seeking his help to escape from the unsavory machinations of Salvan. However, Roxton finds himself thrown off guard by the directness of the girl and does not hesitate to tell her so, “If we are to go on in a tolerable fashion know this: There are three things I abhor: lack of manners, slovenliness, and stupidity.” While it is true that Antonia does not particularly care for her state of attire and can be witty to the point of rudeness, she is anything but stupid. She orchestrates a clever plan to force the Duke to help her. Despite himself, he starts falling for her willful mannerisms, outlandish remarks, and naïve speculations about the world.

It is when she is fast asleep, curled up in his chair and his home, that Roxton realizes he is falling for her, “Antonia was fast asleep, her face turned away from the dying fire, one arm caught in a quantity of tangled curls, the other resting limp across her bodice. The layers of her silk petticoats surrounded her like a soft pink cloud and exposed her stockinged feet to the warmth of the fire. He couldn’t recall the last time he’d had the leisure to admire the prettily-turned ankles of a sleeping beauty. The sensation was new to him and made him smile.”

Despite her wit and intelligence, she is only eighteen years old and innocent of much the world has to offer. Roxton, on the other hand, has a rakish reputation, arrogant attitude, and a disinterested manner. He finds himself being softened by her refreshing demeanor. He admits this to one of his friends and previous lover, Kate, “It is exceedingly difficult to put into words, Kate… It’s as if she has shown me the existence of color. The world is no longer gray.”

Despite their growing love, Salvan is convinced of his plan to have his son marry Antonia. When Antonia’s grandfather dies, it is believed that Salvan is her closest living relative and therefore she must be placed under his care. If this happens, it means Salvan has the right to sign her away in marriage to his son despite her wishes. He would have total control of her fate. A loophole is desperately sought by Roxton and Antonia to scupper the lascivious Salvan’s plans. Just when readers believe that the lovers are safe and their romance story has ended with a happily ever after, the author throws in yet another twist to keep readers on their toes.

Overall, Noble Satyr is an excellent, gripping read. The only good thing about reaching the end was knowing that there is another book in the series where readers can continue along the characters’ journeys. While the characters at times seemed to be a bit stereotypical, as in the aloof man is a typical alpha male, closed off to the world until he meets an innocent, willful girl, the way in which it is executed feels fresh and unique. Moreover, the romantic suspense between Roxton and Antonia keeps readers on tenterhooks wondering if they will eventually work things out and overcome the many obstacles life throws their way.

This is highly recommend it to anyone interested in romance set during this time period. Overall, it was an enjoyable book, with an engaging storyline, realistic characters, and an in-depth glimpse of how society and life was back then.


“Noble Satyr” by Lucinda Brant receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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1 Comment

I loved this book (and indeed, all of Lucinda Brant's books), only partly because the 1740s is my period. A wonderfully robust, intellectually curious era, devoid of the mealy-mouthed tendencies of the Regency.

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