Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publication: August 27th 2015 by Momentum (Pan Macmillan)
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.
After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.
But fate has a different plan.
Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.
Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah—and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts—or will the cycle of history repeat again?
Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
This book felt a bit like a mix between Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. In fact I like this one just as much (if not a little bit more), which is a huge deal since I'm a huge fan of both those stories.
The story starts quite shockingly with Colonel Gabriel de Laurent trying to kill himself. This is where Ariah Larochelle, a mother of a six-year-old girl, finds him, severely wounded. In spite of not knowing who is is, Ariah rescues him and brings him to her home to heal him. At first Gabriel finds himself angry with Ariah but the more he gets the know her the more he admires her strenght and feels a close connection to her, which Ariah also feels.
My first thought when I finished Finding Gabriel was: this is utterly beautiful. And it really was for so many reasons. One of them was how both Gabriel and Ariah were broken, with scars inside and in Gabriel's case out. But when they found each other they slowly started healing. That was amazing.
This book was really emotional, in my opinion. I must admit that I shed a few tears (which is something I almost never do with reading). I felt myself really invested in the characters and I wanted Gabriel, Ariah and her little girl to have the happy ending they deserved.
This book was heavy on the romance but it wasn't too much, you know? It felt exactly right. Even when life got in the way for Ariah and Gabriel I still felt the love and connection they shared. I especially loved the scenes between Gabriel and Ariah's daughter Emmaline. They simply melted my heart.
The writing also was gorgeous. Actually, that was one of my favorite parts of this book and I was practically inhaling every sentence because it was written in such a beautiful way. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the author's future books. I just want more stories like this!