|cover with correct hero hair color|
When her father develops cataracts and his ability to paint the fine strokes diminishes, she becomes his eyes. Signing the portraits “KC,” as all in her family have, no one would know a woman had painted them. A new commission arrives from a baron in Normandy who wants miniatures of himself and his fiancée, a princess. So, Kate and her father travel to France, intending to do the miniatures together. At the baron’s castle, before he arrives, Kate begins to fall in love with the baron’s cousin Bertrand de Mortemer. And then she meets the Baron, Rollo de Centeville, who by his own description is “arrogant, overbearing, impatient and self-willed.” In addition to that, he was clever, soon figuring out that the miniature he comes to admire is being painted by Kate, not her father. He also intends to have his way with Kate, no matter the cost to her.
|nice cover, wrong hair color on him|
I loved Kate’s spirit, her determination and her strength. And I thought the way Holt showed how the artist gleaned the nuances of the subject’s personality while painting was masterful.
As in all bodice rippers, there is a certain satisfaction is seeing the Baron have his comeuppance, though even then, one can certainly agree with the hatred Kate feels for the man who ruined, as well as benefited, her life. Unlike some of her stories, Holt brings the heroine’s feelings about the “hero” (sometimes the baron seemed more the villain) to the fore early on, and that was good.
Holt does a brilliant job of showing us what the people of Paris lived through in the 1870 siege of the city by the Prussians when the people were starved into submission.
Like her other novels, it is told in the first person. A well-written bodice ripper, it does contain rape; and while there are no details or vivid descriptions, the fact of it is no less horrible.
There’s a surprise ending awaiting you. The story is a keeper. I recommend it.