To enter for a chance to win a copy of this book simply post a comment telling me what, if anything, you know about the French Revolution. If you don't think you know much about it, how about what you know about Marie Antoinette and King Louis? If you still don't know, then just tell me what intrigues you about French culture. You can answer all three questions if you want to. Thanks for playing this game. :) I will select a winner next Sunday.
About the Book:
Christophe, the Count of St. Laurent, has lost his entire family to the blood-soaked French Revolution and must flee to an ancient castle along the southern border of France to survive. But the medieval city of Carcassonne proves more than a hiding place. Here Christophe meets the beautiful widow Scarlett, a complex and lionhearted woman suddenly taken by the undercover aristocrat's passion for astronomy and its influence upon his faith. Although their acquaintance begins brightly enough, when the Count learns that Scarlett is related to the man who murdered his family, he turns from love and chooses revenge. Heaven only knows what it might take for Christophe to love again, to love his enemy, and to love unconditionally.
Love's First Light starts out with an intensely emotional and graphic scene that made me wince, but I couldn't stop reading. Carie did an excellent job with realism. As I read along I realized how many morbid sayings come from that era like, "Should I stick my neck out?" and "Some heads are gonna roll." Ew. That time period was downright brutal and unfair to the innocent. I loved how well the author played this theme out even if it did gross me out a bit at times.
This started out as a really good story but there were a few things that didn't sit right with me from the middle to the end. The hero's dialogue sounded a bit more like a woman than a man for much of the second half of the book. It could've been because he was a scientist and artsy sort, but I'm not inclined to think the author made the man seem effeminate on purpose. Maybe it's just me, but I also felt like I was slipping in and out of the time period, too. It's hard to explain. Maybe the voice wasn't consistently French- Revolution-sounding. That's the only thing I can think of that would explain why I didn't feel immersed in the story from the middle of the book to the end.
One more sort of humorous comment. On page 263 one of the characters references when the French gave the Statue of Liberty to America after they won their freedom from England. Well, I'm not a huge history buff when it comes to the picky dates and details but even I knew that event occurred in the 1800s. It bugged me so I looked it up and the date was 1886 to be exact - a full 100 years later. One historic site wrote... The Statue of Liberty was given to America by the French in 1886 and has been a symbol for America ever since. So there is no possible way that the character in 1794 could have know about something that took place almost 90 years in the future. That was a big whoops on the author's part. History buffs are sure to notice. Sheesh, I hate to be critical because I'm a big Jamie Carie fan, but this did throw me for a loop to the point of distraction.
In some places the words the author used were so beautiful and poetic, but in other places the dialogue threw me off because it didn't seem to fit the era. And the romance between two older secondary characters seemed a bit plastic to me. I wasn't feeling the love like it was a real thing. It also seemed like the color and prism theme in the story was a bit disjointed. But I am still a big Jamie Carie fan and I loved The Duchess and the Dragon and Wind Dancer. This book...not so much. Sorry!
On the more positive end, I have to say the author has a way with words when it comes to romance and kissing. That's definitely her strength. I loved the forgiveness theme in the story as well and how the author showed that sometimes the people who have every right to be bitter are the ones God uses to set the example (if they are willing) by their love and demonstrated forgiveness. That was very well done. So, that said, for the above reasons this was not my favorite book by Carie, but if you like reading about the era and the issues surrounding the French Revolution, you would still enjoy this story.
Love's First Light was published by B&H and released in July 2009.