Rachel L. Demeter
Published in 2015
H/h - Gabriel de Laurent/Ariah Larochelle
Setting: Paris, France, 1815.
Read in September, 2015.
Both Lord of Ice and Broken Wing are straight 5 stars books, aptly deserved as I absolutely loved both. However, Finding Gabriel, IMO failed to deliver what it promised. Yes there were quite a lot of dark and depressing matters in the story but they never worked out the way I wanted them to. Since this was my first book by the author, I went in totally blind and felt the unadulterated shock of disappointment. I’d go into my full review later but first, here is what happened in a nutshell...
Colonel Gabriel de Laurent has seen it all, done it all in his 30 yrs. life. Born in a noble family, he wasn’t supposed to serve Bonaparte but he went to the army when tragedy struck his family down and there was no one left to mourn him. After his parents had passed, Gabriel married the girl he was betrothed to quite dutifully, being the only heir to their legacy. Both were young (late teens) and totally inexperienced. And they didn’t suit at all. Soon, after the birth of Lisette, their only child, Gabriel and his wife drifted apart. There were numerous affairs on both sides. From what little shown in the story made me feel that both were to blame equally for their failed marriage. When not submerging into the charms of his next mistress, Gabriel was drinking away. His wife was depressed, resentful, always looking for the next lover, never finding the peace that eluded her in her own marriage. And that brought trouble at their home; a jilted lover who wanted revenge. I won’t go into the details but Gabriel lost his whole family on one single night, in a quite gruesome way. He would’ve died himself had he not killed the perpetrators equally brutally and left home, never to return again. His conscience, the urge to be a good husband and father, came a little too late... there was nothing left to do anymore.