A Sugary Sweet (that’s a good thing in this case) tale to read (3.5 stars)
Laker’s tale of Sophie Delcourt starts in 1793 at the height of the French Revolution as Sophie is forced to flee to England with her employer’s young son Antoine de Juneau and his aging grandfather, as the revolutionaries hunt down and kill any members of the aristocracy they can find. Sophie reaches England in safety by is set upon by villains who attack her party and rob them of everything and leave them for dead. Found by the gorgeous (of course) and mysterious (of course) Tom Foxhill she eventually recovers from the attack and she and Antoine settle in Brighton, England with young Antoine posing as Sophie’s nephew. Sophie uses her skills as a confectionery to establish a business in her new life as she is torn by her strong attractions to Tom as opposed to the quiet but strong and loving revenue agent, Rory Morgan.
Laker mixes Sophie’s tale in with one of George, then Prince of Wales, and his “wife” Maria Fitzherbert and their on again off again relationship. I have to admit sometimes it was a bit of a stretch the way commoner Sophie was able to step in and out of George’s and Maria’s lives without so much of a raising of an eyebrow, but otherwise this was a genuinely entertaining tale. As Sophie battles to maintain her independence while being courted by two men who love her, danger from France threatens as a relative of the de Juneau’s plots to harm Julian and remove any possibility of his laying claim to his rightful inheritance in France.
The author does a nice job of setting her scenes and includes plenty of period detail, with the clothes, food, etc. To some readers it may be a bit much and it does slow the story down at times, so you’re not going to have a sit on the edge of your seat page turning story, but one to sit back and savor at a leisurely pace. Not the greatest entry in the historical fiction genre, but still a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in another century.
I like the cover for this French edition I found at Goodreads,