There I was, sipping tea in the Donets’ lovely parlor, decorated in the warm colors of the gardens and filled with sunlight, trying to forget the horrors I had left behind in Paris. Sitting across from me was my savior, Mademoiselle Zoé Donet, and her English aunt, Joanna, comtesse de Saintonge. Zoé’s question stirred me from my reverie.
“Do you have in mind a place to settle in England, madame?”
“I have friends in London we can visit. After that, I’m not sure. I rather like the countryside. For many years, I lived in a small country palace in the Bois de Boulogne near Paris.”
“Then perhaps you should consider West Sussex,” offered Zoé’s aunt. “There is plenty of room at The Harrows, my family’s estate, and my brother, Richard, the Earl of Torrington, would welcome you and your children. It would be a fine place to recover from all you have been through at least until you decide. But, if you prefer, Richard could arrange for you and your children to travel with him the next time he goes to London.”
“That is so very kind of you, Madame Donet.”
“Not at all. It is settled. When my husband sails to England, you shall accompany him. Perhaps we’ll all go. I have not visited my brother in a while and he worries about me even though I am on Guernsey.”
I set down my teacup, trying to imagine the anxiety this woman must face each time her husband and niece ventured into the port towns in northwestern France to help the fleeing émigrésof which I had been one. “You must fear for your husband and niece going into France to rescue people like me. How ever do you stand the agony of awaiting their return?”
A subtle smile crossed Madame Donet’s face. It was the look of a woman who had long ago conquered her demons.
“I knew when I married Jean Donet I was marrying adventure itself. Oh, perhaps not the terrifying kind he now faces, defying the revolution’s madmen. For that, I think he and my niece are quite brave. But I have always known such a man would not be content to sit in his parlor and gaze at his vineyard, though he has—or rather, had—an excellent one. No, once he discovered the sea, there was no other life for him.”
I considered the niece. At twenty, Zoé was a beautiful young woman attired in an elegant gown, so different from the soot-covered peasant she had been days ago. “I can see why Monsieur Donet would undertake the rescues, but why you?”
“I made a vow to a friend that I would do all I could for the royalist cause, no matter the peril I must face.”
Zoé’s aunt smiled. “Anyone who marries my niece will be making the same decision I made when I wed Jean Donet.”
About the Book
A Fierce Wind: Donet Trilogy, book 3
Love in the time of revolution
Zoé Ariane Donet was in love with love until she met the commander of the royalist army fighting the revolutionaries tearing apart France. When the dashing young general is killed, she joins the royalist cause, rescuing émigrésfleeing France.
One man watches over her: Frederick West, the brother of an English earl, who has known Zoé since she was a precocious ten-year-old child. At sixteen, she promised great beauty, the flower of French womanhood about to bloom. Now, four years later, as Robespierre’s Terror seizes France by the throat, Zoé has become a beautiful temptress Freddie vows to protect with his life.
But English spies don’t live long in revolutionary France.
Buy links for A Fierce Wind:
Amazon link for the award-winning Donet Trilogy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B071JPXTT5/
About the Author
I didn’t start out as a writer of historical novels. Although I wrote stories as a child, by the time I got to college, and at the urging of my professors, I became a lawyer. After years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government, it seemed time for a change. Becoming an award-winning author was the subject of dreams when I first began writing, but dreams sometimes do come true.
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Regan’s blog, Historical Romance Review: https://reganromancereview.blogspot.com/
Thanks so much for hosting me and A Fierce Wind on the Tattler! I forgot to mention that the woman recounting her tea in Guernsey was Madame de Montconseil, princesse d’Hénin, a real-life person and one of the ladies in waiting to Marie Antoinette who escaped the Terror.
Sounds exciting, Regan. Thank you for visiting.