Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 27, 2015
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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.
My Review: Ariah finds a wounded man on the brink of death washed up on the Seine River. Moved by compassion, she saves him. She learns that the man is named Gabriel and that he was a veteran soldier. He is haunted from his past and tried to commit suicide. As the romance slowly blossoms between them, Gabriel also finds out that Ariah too is conflicted by her own inner demons that threaten to tear them apart.
Ariah is a young mother whose husband still has not returned from the war. She also takes care of her younger sister who has a stutter. Her daughter is sick and she has a doctor that frequently comes over to treat her. She is kind and compassionate, which is why she saves Gabriel, yet she has a fierceness in her, and is not afraid to hurt anyone who tries to hurt her daughter. However, while she seems hard on the outside, inside she is also broken. The ghosts from her past continue to haunt her and therefore she is reluctant to find love and happiness.
Gabriel is also haunted from his past. He was once handsome, but he is disfigured by the wound he inflicted upon himself during his suicide attempt. His hideousness abhors strangers who look upon him. Because of his looks, he is even more ashamed of himself and wishes he was dead. Gabriel struggles to not only confront his inner demons, but to also find his reason to live. He finds it through his budding romance with Ariah.
I loved the blossoming romance between Ariah and Gabriel. They both matched perfectly together. Their love also progress naturally and slowly. They both had experienced loss, and wanted to escape their past and start their lives anew. They were each other’s light during their times of darkness. With their love for each other, they find redemption, acceptance, and their reason to live.
Overall, this novel is about loss, friendship, family, love, redemption, hope, and acceptance. The message of the story is that while there is darkness, there is also light. Even if there are tough times, there is always a chance for love and happiness. The story is very well-written and beautiful. While the story is slow moving and there is little action in the plot, it is a great character-driven novel. As the story progresses, the readers slowly get to peel off layers of the character’s past, and eventually their secrets and ghosts are revealed. I recommend this story to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a dark, Gothic romance.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is the official book trailer of Finding Gabriel: