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The Sugar Pavilion

The Sugar Pavilion

by Rosalind Laker

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Seventeen well-written and thoroughly researched historical novels (most recently, The Venetian Mask ) have come from English writer Laker's pen; in each she gives her heroine a talent or trade which can be described in fascinating detail. Here, feisty, independent Sophie Delcourt is an accomplished confectioner, having trained at her late father's Paris atelier. When Sophie is forced to flee France during the Revolution, taking under her protection the young heir of an aristocratic family, she ends up in Brighton, where adventures, dangers, career opportunities--and love--await her. Laker nicely evokes the atmosphere of Brighton in the late 1700s, the resort favored by the Prince of Wales and the woman he has secretly wed, Maria Fitzherbert. Plot complications also deal with Brighton's other ``industry''--smuggling. Sophie is wooed by two men: steadfast Rory Morgan, Captain in the Excise Service, who is determined to apprehend the notorious Broomfield smuggling gang, and charismatic Tom Foxhill, purveyor of antiques to ``Prinny'' and other bluebloods, but seemingly involved in smuggling himself. Meanwhile, Sophie sets up her own atelier and readers learn how bonbons, sweetmeats and extraordinarily complex spun-sugar centerpieces were produced. If Laker succumbs to the genre conventions, making Sophie more beautiful, brave and also more foolhardy than credibility would allow, she also illuminates a colorful epoch. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Independent, resourceful, and beautiful, Sophie Delcourt is another of Laker's spirited heroines (like Marguerite Dremont in To Dance with Kings , LJ 12/88). Sophie flees revolutionary France with her aristocratic employer's young son, Antoine, and settles in Brighton, made newly fashionable by the Prince of Wales. Her goal is to become a confectioner, but no job is beneath her. She begins by waiting tables and becoming a cook at a large Brighton restaurant and later works at Prinny's Marine Pavilion as a linen maid until her confectionery business succeeds. She is torn between her quiet affection for Rory Morgan, the brave excise officer who patrols the coast at Brighton for smugglers, and her attraction to the dashing, mysterious Tom Foxhill, who knows too much about smuggling for Sophie's peace of mind. Emigres, smugglers, romance, and royal intrigue make this a can't-miss selection for general collections.-- Mary Ann Parker, California Dept. of Water Resources Law Lib., Sacramento
Denise Perry Donavin
When she flees to England from the revolutionaries of France, Sophie Delcourt takes along her confectionery skills and the son of the noble family for whom she worked. Passing Antoine off as her nephew, she settles in Brighton with a crowd of other French exiles and forges her way in a man's world of cooking for hire. Before long, Sophie is creating confections for the king (or, at least, the Prince of Wales and his wife). Meanwhile, Antoine continues to be pursued by the French, and the two men who vie for Sophie's affections seem to be on opposite sides of the law. Tom Foxhill, who rescued Sophie from muggers just after she docked, travels the coast with a notorious band of smugglers, while Captain Rory Morgan works for the excise service hunting those same freetraders. With her sharp characterizations and deft ability to slip in historical gossip, Laker transports the reader straight into the inns, shops, bathing machines, and Royal Pavilion of eighteenth-century Brighton.

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Doubleday Publishing
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1st ed

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