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Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Pelican Ventures, LLCCopyright © 2015 Carrie Fancett Pagels
All rights reserved.
Gossamer threads, woven by Etienne's words and affixed to Suzanne's heart, were all that kept her feet anchored to the parquetry floor. She tilted her head back, her neck stiff from sitting so still for the maids' ministrations. Tonight, certainement, in the ballroom of Louis XV, her future would be revealed.
Yet even as she imagined Etienne's proposal of marriage, her constant shadow-companion, dread, drew with inexorable strokes, a portrait of her family being carried off to prison. Such would happen to them if their secret Huguenot beliefs were discovered. Sweeping that image aside, Suzanne shook the hundreds of dark ringlets that tumbled from her upswept hair.
"Come to the mirror, Suzanne." Cracking open an aged leather jewelry case, her mother lifted Grand-mère's necklace before winding it around Suzanne's neck.
She shivered as the rows of cold pearls settled against her skin.
Maman's warm fingers fastened the heavy gold knot closure. "This necklace will be worn at your wedding."
Soon, with Etienne, Suzanne prayed. After their nuptials, she should be safe. But what of her parents and brother? Dread crept up and clutched the necklace, clung there, dangled like the large topaz in the center.
Maman decanted a beautiful bottle of rose-scented perfume.
Heavy perfume couldn't mask the unpleasant odor that recently clung to Maman with this maddening illness that would soon claim her.
Suzanne's gaze settled on the portrait, finally completed after two years. The sea-blue orbs of the German peasant she'd met stared back at her.
Guillame had threatened to show the painting to Etienne.
Etienne LeFort. How many balls had he attended? Surely, she was the only young woman in all the apartments of Versailles never allowed.
Her mother adjusted the sheer ivory fichu tucked into the tight stomacher. Maman padded to the gilded white armoire and returned with buckled shoes with high curved heels.
"Merci." Suzanne squeezed into the tight pumps. She'd rather go barefoot under the full skirt.
Maman grasped her arm and led her to the main salon.
The front door swung in and banged against the wall.
Suzanne jumped and covered her heart with her hand.
"Maman, I'm back!" Guillame's boot heels clicked across the floor. "Sorry I'm late."
Glaring at her brother, she sucked in a slow breath, catching a whiff of soap and leather polish. "You, of all people should know better than to come barging in here like that. Like the guard would do if ever ..." she hissed.
His too-handsome features pulled into a mask of contrition, and he clicked his heels and bowed toward her, in apology. "Pardonnez-moi." He crossed to kiss their mother's cheeks. "I heard Rochambeau's aide-de-camp arrived at the palace." Two spots of red dotted his high cheekbones.
Maman gripped his forearms. "We have been friends with Rochambeau many years, but you must remember, he once trained for the priesthood."
Lips tightening into a line, Guillame took their mother's hand in his.
She gazed up at him in maternal affection. "If you hear anything, come to me immediately. Understand?"
Suzanne, after her heart settled, despaired that they had to refrain from displaying any nuances that might betray her parents' religious beliefs. A word here, a word there — they all added up and could entangle them in a trap.
Guillame came to her side and took her hand in his, an apology still in his dark eyes. "Come on, Suzanne, I'll accompany you to the ballroom, and then I'll retrieve Jeanne."
Forcing a light tone, she shoved her former dark thoughts aside. "You know she only flirts with you so outrageously because you're so irresistible ... and you're my brother."
Guillame's jaw muscle twitched. He lifted the focal piece of her necklace in his palm. "Grand-mère's."
The oval jewel was magnificent, like this night would be. Finally, after all this time apart, she and Etienne would be together at court.
Maman paused in front of the porcelain waterfall wall clock. "What's taking your papa so long?" Her silk brocade gown crinkled as she slowly moved to the divan in the main salon.
"The mirrors in the ballroom will reflect how much Etienne has changed," Guillame whispered in Suzanne's ear. "He's become as big a fool as his brother." He caught her hand before it struck him.
She glared at him. "The hall of mirrors will duplicate our love for all to see."
In the daytime, the ballroom's mirrors magnified light streaming from the wall of windows. The amplified sunlight illuminated the multitude of paintings in the vast room. But in the darkness, would candlelight do the same with their images, or had time changed their relationship forever?
"Wish Maman a good night, Suzanne, and then we're off."
She drew close, but her mother's eyes were closed. "Already asleep." She pressed a kiss to her forehead.
Guillame traversed the blue wool carpet to their mother and draped a light blanket across her. He tugged Suzanne toward the marble hallway floors and placed one finger over his lips as they exited the apartment.
* * *
The fresh night air carried hints of floral scents and the perfume of revelers en route to the dance.
Suzanne imagined herself in wedding finery, gliding to meet her intended. A gown of the finest satin, weighted with thousands of pearls sewn into floral patterns, would be topped by a coverlet of ivory damask, and studded with diamonds. The queen wouldn't be dressed in so fine a garment.
Guy rubbed his square chin and frowned. "I wish you'd rethink this infatuation with Etienne."
She'd be the mistress of a huge plantation in the Caribbean and live in a sun-soaked land surrounded by azure water. Etienne's horrid brother, Pierre, would reside at Versailles, and she and Etienne, half a world away. Shuddering, she banished all images of Pierre.
"You wish to ally with a powerful family, but they're not of our faith." Why did Guillame always have to interrupt her reveries?
The LeForts were of Grand-mère's faith and, like themselves, were noblesse ancienne — of the ancient aristocracy of France.
But the laughing boy she loved had grown distracted, even irritable, since beginning work with his brother.
The hum of partygoers increased the closer they got to the ballroom.
Depositing her in the archway of vines and flowers at the entrance, Guillame kissed her cheek. "I will go get Jeanne."
Not wanting to stand in the way, she spied a heavily draped corner to the right and slipped inside. She slid onto the taupe velvet bench and removed her shoes. With her feet already sore, she'd have trouble managing the night. But with Etienne's arms around her, she'd feel no pain.
Heavy drapes obscured all but a sliver's view of newcomers. Behind her, satin curtains rustled. She shouldn't listen but couldn't help overhearing the two men who conversed — one voice deep, the other higher and nasal.
"I've already taken care of the situation." The man's sonorous voice was familiar.
"The West Indies for him." The other gentleman sounded like Madame DeMint's son, Paul, a friend of Etienne's family. "But what will you do about her?"
"I know what to do." The first man emitted an earthy laugh.
Suzanne edged closer.
Madame DeMint, her godmother, was supposed to arrange — or at least encourage — the betrothal for her and Etienne. His family's sugar plantation was in the Indies.
"Her parents will never agree, already refused once." Well, that couldn't be about her, for her parents consented to the match. Papa wasn't happy, but he'd allow the union.
"They won't be given a choice."
Suzanne clenched her jaw in frustration, trying to discern if the gentleman was Monsieur DeMint. Returning to the bench, she sat and pulled the slippers over her silk stockings. Then she exited to the salon as spectacularly adorned guests glided past.
Framed in the entrance to the ballroom, Jeanne Trompier's blood-red gown clashed with her auburn hair and with Guillame's mustard-colored vest. Her friend's buxom figure was glued, like heavy toile wallpaper, to her brother.
Suzanne's head began to throb, but the curls prevented her from rubbing her temples without dislodging them.
Jeanne's clothing displayed that she was a woman.
Suzanne's bodice suggested otherwise. Now her silk dress seemed insufficient, a lady's gown on someone with the silhouette of a child. At least Maman had allowed a modest pouf of gauzy material secured on her hips, an illusion.
"Suzanne?" Etienne appeared at her side, bringing with him the scent of sandalwood and cloves. He kissed her hands, sending tingles to her fingertips. Etienne's satin waistcoat was beaded and trimmed to perfection. His dark eyes promised her everything as he promenaded around her, his eyes appraising her attire before he stopped in front of her. He took a step toward her. "Why are you alone in this corner? You cannot flee from me tonight, my darling." Suddenly, Etienne's hands settled warm and possessive on her hips.
She stiffened and pushed them away.
He laughed and held out his arm for her. "Did you notice?" He ran his fingertips along the seams of the inner garment, the tailoring exquisite, emphasizing his trim form.
She smiled but refused to comment on his physique. The blue and gold complemented her ensemble well.
"Was the vest made to match my gown?" Her heart leapt in anticipation, but Etienne's smile was enigmatic. Squelched, she looked down at the floor.
Abruptly, he turned her, clasping her waist with hard fingers. Her breath caught in her throat, and she searched his face to gauge his intent. Saying nothing, he led her into the ballroom.
She tried to absorb every detail of this golden treasure, the room transformed by night and candles into a glittering vision of its daytime glory.
Etienne's firm grip pulled her on as he wove through the crowd.
"Gaudy peacocks reflecting in the pond, n'est pas?" Etienne gestured to the row of dancers in the mirror.
Tension eased from her as they shared a smile of agreement. They continued past the many paintings, too quickly for her to get but a few details. Heavily carved with intricate woodland designs, the gilded frames of the pictures detracted from the aristocrats portrayed in them.
Ten paces ahead stood a cluster of young men, his new friends, ones her brother despised as milksops.
"Good evening, gentlemen." He pressed his hand against her back.
"Bon soir." All echoed the greeting. Amusement flickered on their smug faces.
Her throat closed. He didn't bother to introduce her.
She'd hoped for a hint at his intentions. Suzanne opened the beautiful fan from Grand-mère, hoping that as she hid behind the pierced wood treasure, its motion would chase away her tears.
Etienne hadn't even acknowledged that they were together.
One, a tall blond man, dragged his gaze up and down her figure as if assessing whether more was there than he could see. Swiping two flutes of champagne from a passing tray, he called out, "Merci." His Scottish burr mangled his pronunciation and she almost giggled.
She was tired of being considered inconsequential.
Etienne had always remained attentive until recently, when his self-preoccupation increased. Perhaps he didn't like his friends' gawking, for he practically dragged her away from them.
She scurried to keep up.
He stood with her for a moment, aloof.
She sensed her brother's gaze and searched him out, finally alighting upon Jeanne, surrounded by a bevy of admirers, their hair powdered to perfection. Their heavy perfumes alone cost a fortune.
Etienne frowned and narrowed his eyes. "Your friend is indiscreet." His tone suggested disgust tempered by another emotion.
She blinked back the tears that threatened. So few friends remained at court. "My brother said he would talk with her this evening." She waved her fan before her face, grateful for the cool air it stirred.
"Your brother?" He pointed at Jeanne, who was kissing Etienne's older brother, Pierre, full on the mouth, his lace jabot dipping into her bodice.
Suzanne's body tensed as Pierre rose, cocked his head at her, and gave a lascivious wink.
The memory of Pierre's touch, once locked away, sprang forth. Suzanne shuddered. "What is he doing here? You said he'd be occupied the entire evening."
Etienne shrugged, but his narrowed eyes darted around the room. "Probably here on business. Or to ruin my good time."
Stomach in spasms, she turned away from the twosome. "I know I should try to get along with Pierre." And to find a way to ignore the way he looks at me.
"Just stay away from him." The irritation in his voice surprised her.
She swallowed. The noise of the partygoers seemed a cacophony in her ears. The desire to go home overwhelmed her. Turning, Suzanne caught Jeanne's triumphant smile at Etienne. What had Etienne confronted her friend about? Clearly, Jeanne thought she won some point with him.
Etienne rubbed his top lip with his thumb, a habit he had when he felt guilty.
She shivered. This evening wasn't going at all as she had planned. Overhead, the painted figures on the ceiling mocked her. You'll never get him to marry you, they taunted. She wanted to shut out all the overwhelming scents of the perfumes, the sight of so much exposed flesh, and the vulgar speech she overheard in passing.
"Let's get a drink." Edging them over to the large engraved bowl, her escort snatched two full silver cups.
Suzanne filled a plate for them with orange slices and cheese.
Etienne handed her a drink and plopped a strawberry into his mouth. "I'm hungry."
The vile scent of the punch suggested someone had poured spirits into it, but she desperately needed to quell the lump in her throat. She took one tentative sip. The liquid burned all the way down, and her eyes flew open wide.
Etienne raised an eyebrow.
"My apologies. I forget you don't partake." He patted her on her back.
Hurriedly, she consumed a few of Etienne's berries, hoping they would take away the foul sting. She swallowed the overripe fruit, disappointed in the strawberries' deceptive appearance.
Etienne squeezed her hand and led her around the edge of the ballroom, avoiding the mirrored wall. He swept her out onto the dance floor.
Suzanne refrained from gaping at the rows of diamonds gracing the long necks of several other women.
When the dance ended, Etienne leaned in. "How many vaults do you suppose were opened so that treasured gems might be displayed this evening?" His wistful tone reminded her that his mother's jewels might be passing by them, worn by whoever had purchased the collection.
She wanted to say she was sorry his father had almost ruined his family financially.
Etienne would have to ply a trade. He still had position, maintained his title, and had many friends at court, but the Marquis de LeFort needed his sons to be successful businessmen.
"Didn't your necklace belong to your grandmother?" Etienne's dark eyes roamed her face.
"Oui." Smelling lily of the valley, now in bloom at Grand-mère's estate, Suzanne turned her head, but couldn't locate the wearer of the scent.
Etienne kissed her fingertips, led her to the row of women, and then sought his place among the men.
The music began.
Grand-mère's necklace jostled against her as she and Etienne executed their portion of the dance together.
"Belle," he mouthed at her, and her cheeks warmed.
Through each new baroque dance, Suzanne gained confidence as she and her partner completed their steps. Minuet after minuet, they continued. The row of dancers swirled in colored silks, glistening jewelry, and high bewigged heads. Only moments seemed to have passed when, with surprise, she noted the candles being lowered.
"I hope they change the chandelier tapers to something casting more light," she called to Etienne as they passed each other in their steps.
He laughed. "Unlikely."
Suzanne wanted to wrap a finger around one of the black curls that framed her companion's perfect face. The most handsome young man at Versailles, Etienne belonged to her. And soon he would be her husband. All that remained lacking was his request for her hand. Her feet were on fire from the pinch of the slippers, but she mustn't leave now. Not yet.
Excerpted from Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter by Carrie Fancett Pagels. Copyright © 2015 Carrie Fancett Pagels. Excerpted by permission of Pelican Ventures, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Complex Historical Romance From the opening pages of Carrie Fancett Pagels latest novel, I was drawn into a time and place I know little of, despite my fascination with history. The action is immediate and urgent, and I couldn't put the book down or even quit thinking of the story for very long. The plight of a Huguenot (Protestant) family in Catholic France, despite their position at King Louis’ court, is dire almost from the first lines. A very complex story, things are revealed layer by layer as we get to know the players. Sometimes I felt a bit lost by terminology or a plot point, but not long after, things were explained or expanded and I was back in the story. While momentarily frustrating, I really enjoyed the intricate storyline and its involved nature. This novel contains excellent historical detail, from descriptions of Versailles to the headlong flight for safety and then into the Colonies, I felt as if I were witnessing history as it happened. The struggles of the main actors, made more poignant by the suffering of secondary characters, really brought home to me how difficult living in the past could be. I would recommend this novel for those who, like myself, know little of Huguenot history—it is a fascinating look at a time when spiritual beliefs could very well lead to martyrdom. We really do take our freedom to worship as we see fit for granted: to be arrested, then executed the next day simply for being a Protestant is unfathomable to me and I would imagine it is also so for many modern Christians in the US. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network but no compensation for this review. I was not required to write a favorable one and the opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
Huguenot. Persecuted by the Catholics because of their Protestant beliefs. Carrie weaves so many historical facts into the story that you soon can not tell which is fiction. Suzanne is left an orphan in a country who assumes her father’s beliefs are her own. Confusion and hatred seem to abound, but with a strong faith element subtly woven throughout it is a fascinating look into a time period not often promoted through fiction. Distrust, misunderstandings, and betrayal abound, but forgiveness is there. Thank you to the author Carrie Fancett Pagels for the opportunity to read this book. I won it in a Seekerville.com contest. The opinions are my own.
Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is the story of a brave young French woman who escapes after her Huguenot father is arrested and the German peasant Johan who assists her. I was especially impressed with Johan while sometimes feeling irritation with the aristocrat Suzanne! This book tells some of the difficulties people faced for their faith. I enjoyed this well written book by Carrie Fancett Pagels. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I received this book from www.bookfun.org. This is my honest review of the book.
Saving The Marquise's Granddaughter is the first novel I have read by Carrie Fancett Pagels but it most definitely won't be the last. She is not a new novelist, in fact after looking up her works I would have to say she is quite prolific. I'm not sure how I have missed reading her books up to this point. The story takes place in France during the mid 1700s. During this time-period it was not a good thing to be a Huguenot. In fact it could get you arrested and possibly put to death. Suzanne Richelieu's family are Huguenots and as such have put into place an escape plan but they are hopeful that it will never have to be used. But inevitably the plan had to be enacted. Suzanne's harrowing escape through the help of the handsome German Johan Rousch takes up the majority of the novel which makes the novel proceed rapidly. At several points it looks like all is lost. But Providence has more in store for the two. I really enjoyed this story of two strong families from completely different backgrounds, one of privilege and the other of meager means. While their circumstances were different they each loved their families deeply. And as a die-hard romantic the budding romance between Suzanne and Johan is just beautiful. At the end I just wanted to cheer, "Love wins!" If you enjoy a lovely romantic story set in an historic time period you really should check this one out. Carrie Fancett Pagels has done her research so even the little details will educate you as you are enjoying the overall story. I know I came away from it both entertained and feeling like I learned more about Huguenots and their plight. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Inspiring historical fiction Living as secretive Huguenots in a French Catholic world, Suzanne Richelieu is not a stranger to fear or diplomatic navigation within the French court. She believes her promised marriage to Etienne of a prominent family is her security. Yet when her father’s faith is exposed Suzanne’s life turns upside down. Ripped from her family and the aristocratic life she led in Versailles, she escapes, hiding for her life and dependent on a rural family. Fear at every turn seemed to climax when the French military arrives and warns of eminent devastation by fire to the German farming community and her new way of living. Fleeing danger, Suzanne and Johan, the enamored farmer’s son, board a ship to the American Colonies and Huguenot religious freedom. Everything up until that point pales in comparison to what they face from that decision forward. Just how much can Suzanne take? Loving historic romance fiction, I was eager to read and review Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter. Carrie Fancett Pagels vividly paints a view of 1745, a time in history where religious choice divides nations, families and friends. As always, it is a time where love’s currents shift and effect a person's journey and destination. Like all of us, Suzanne doesn’t know of the twists and turns that lie ahead or the significant ways she will change during the course of events. Hardship’s compass brings us all to our core where priorities are exposed. Suzanne's priorities sift down to the necessity of personal relationship with God and the blaring contrast of surprising, selfless love to what is often termed as “love,” but really has absolutely nothing to do with the word. Suzanne’s story will leave you feeling grateful for your freedoms, stretched by her endurance and adaptation and hope filled for all that lies ahead. I received a complimentary book from Carrie Fancett Pagels, Pelican Book Group and The Book Club Network at bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.
Wow, this story started with a bang and grabbed me from the first page. Danger at every turn and suspense thrown into the mix! Suzanne has no clue who to trust and her faith is not strong enough to help her. Johan’s path crosses hers and he has big decisions ahead of him. I loved the fast paced action and the twists at every corner. Danger during a time when proclaiming your beliefs got you killed, running and hiding are what you know. Suzanne’s life takes her to places she has never been and a future she can’t see. I could feel Johan’s struggles and Suzanne’s doubts and trying to understand her feelings. So deeply moving! I highly recommend this beautiful story for those who want encouragement during despair and the romance to make you smile. This author has a gift!! I received this book from bookfun.org for an honest review.
I am a big fan of historical fiction and this book certainly hasn't disappointed me! Carrie Fancett Pagels has taken basic knowledge of her ancestors and through extensive research given her readers an in-depth story of the persecution suffered by the Huguenots in the 1700. Beginning in France and ending in the American colonies we witness the relationship between a young woman of nobility and the young peasant farmer who feels the duty to protect her from that religious persecution. This book features so many underlying themes and plots. Suzanne's need to hide her faith, the persecution of her father, and her being forced to become an indentured servant after enjoying an upper class upbringing. There is also illness, amnesia and even a possible illegal marriage to entertain us but most of all, we readers are able to witness tremendous courage, extreme loyalty and a lovely romance. I appreciate the history that I have learned from this book and I love that the author has reminded me that each person has to develop his own faith and deepen his own relationship with God. Our family and our friends may influence us but, in the end, it truly is left up to us! 'Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter' is a wonderful story and Carrie Fancett Pagels is an excellent author. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
The religious persecution the Huguenots suffered in Europe remains important to history. I cheer Carrie Fancett Pagels on for bringing their struggle to the forefront in Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter. I’ve recently been made aware of their plight and was glad to read another novel depicting it. The story sheds light, also on the social layers confining people in their lives with no hope of changing their situation but for the hope of fleeing to the New America. When they did sail away, they would become indentured servants to pay for their passage across the ocean. Once they landed they belonged to whoever purchased them and for however long it took them to repay the fee. Suzanne leaves her home and travels through Europe in pursuit of freedom from the troubles brought upon her by her parent’s faith. She endures more than any woman of her social stature could even imagine. Follow Suzanne on to America as she seeks the freedom and love she desperately wants. Will her experiences drive her to God, break her, or open her eyes to the humble man, Johan who loves her? I recommend reading Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter. You will be enlightened and moved. I received this book from The Book Club Network and the author for my honest opinion which I have given in this review.
I finished this book a few days ago, but can't quit thinking about it. I fell in love with Johan along with Suzanne as their romance took them through war-torn France and onto the American colonies. This story is rife with history and emotion but my favorite part is the staunch belief of the Huguenots that won't let them worship any God but the one they serve. Though they face death, their belief system does not waver, and when Suzanne meets the God of her parents during illness, she embraces her newfound faith with eagerness. Johan loves Suzanne - will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. His simple farm background and daring missions to deliver help to those in need endear him to Suzanne despite her high society upbringing. Ms. Pagels has written a poignant story of love amidst war and hardship and romance against all odds. Laughter, tears and many surprising twists await as you traverse the pages of this book. It is a love story you will not soon forget. I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion.
SAVING THE MARQUISE'S GRANDDAUGHTER BY CARRIE FANCETT PAGELS Have read another book by this author and enjoyed it. This one starts out in 1700's and this time frame interests me as I recall a short lived TV show, covington crossings that I really liked because the female did everything her brothers did, even better at some things like archery. Suzanne and her mother have their secret gotten in the hands of the bad guys and they msut flee leaving her father and brothers behind to defend from those who want to kill those who don't go along with the religion. She was to marry Etienne and leave to rule over the Carribean estate of the family. The women head to her grandmother's and are stopped often along th eway trying to escape. They make it but she's not there, won't be for another week but others can tend to them... Her whole life changes and Johan brings her to safety for a bit til things calm down. She thinks she can still get to the colonies... So many come and go from her life as she attempts to make it to the colonies. Very good story line, enjoyed it. I received this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
Saving The Marquise's Granddaughter by Carrie Fancett Pagels, is a rich historical novel loosely based an ancestor of the author. Pagels tells a story of intrigue and romance that takes the reader from 1700s Europe to America. The journey is fraught with dangers and Suzanne, the Marquise's granddaughter finds friends and foes all along the way. This is a tale of religious freedoms and Suzanne has based her religion on her parents' faith. Can she find her way to knowing God through her own beliefs and faith? What will that mean as she struggles through living a life of poverty, death, and despair, a life she has been protected from as the Marquise's offspring? The author touches on emotional, physical, and religious persecution issues in such a realistic manner that readers can easily immerse themselves into the story. The romantic tension is great...Suzanne is betrothed to one man and loved by another. Who will she choose? Will she have a choice or be forced to return to a former life? A gripping, captivating story. Not to be missed.
I loved this storyline! Very unique and different from any other book I have read. Beginning in Versailles, 1745, my interest was piqued from the start. Suzanne, granddaughter of the Marquise, has a rough go of things for sure. Living in a country that persecutes faith, I can't even imagine the heartache and fear. I am so grateful to live in a country where I don't have to live in fear about which church I go to. There are a lot of interesting elements to this story: passage across the Atlantic, being an indentured servant, amnesia, clash of cultural and religious differences, and more. It is even more interesting when you learn that this story was inspired by Carrie Fancett Pagels' family history. I must confess that there were several times that the story skipped about and caused me a bit of confusion. But overall it was pretty easy to figure out what just happened. I enjoyed watching Suzanne and Johan's interactions along their journey. And Suzanne's journey of finding her own faith is very real and can be applied to our own lives as well. Why do you believe what you believe? Is it because your parents believe it? Have you sought the Lord's truth with your own heart? We must have a solid foundation for our faith. If we do, nothing and no one will be able to tear it down. This book is an excellent story from a time period that I am not overly familiar with, but would like to read more about. I received a free copy of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is an intriguing read. I enjoyed Johan and Suzanne's story and how they dealt with their struggles and hardships they hand endured. I highly recommend this wonderful book. 5 plus stars.
Happily Recommended, but Will Not Lend... I have found another new- to-me author, Carrie Fancett Pagels, to watch closely. Having just finished her Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter, I am in awe of her talent as a writer and storyteller. Set in the time of the persecution of the French Huguenots, Suzanne Richelieu must flee her homeland when her family is betrayed. A young,quiet, handsome German comes to her rescue and defends her to his family, his town, and even against his better judgment. When unexpected tragedy follows Suzanne, she and Johan must emigrate to America. Can they find a common faith, trust in God AND each other, and avoid the many dangers in their path? The time of the French Huguenot persecution is fascinating and terrifying. Ms. Pagels recounts the court of Louis XV, causing the reader to live the intrigue, secrecy,and fear along with the heroine. The part of the story tapestry that is weeks crossing the ocean and time spent in America is just as tightly woven and nerve-jangling. One wonders, along with the immigrants, if there can be favorable outcome, or if all the trouble has been for naught. Favorite quote? "You need your own faith. This you cannot borrow." This book touched me in so many ways that I happily recommend it, but to misquote the author, "This you cannot borrow." I gratefully received an e-galley from Netgalley.com.
Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter***** by Carrie Fancett Pagels 1742, Eastern France...due to her father's Huguenot beliefs and arrest, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu flees her home in fear. Circumstances bring German peasant, Johan Rousch, and Suzanne together. Johan feels led by God to bring her to safety on his family's farm—risking his life and possibly that of his family. Suddenly Suzanne's brother arrives along with the French army, warning that they plan to burn the area and that her pursuer is not far behind, forcing her and Johan to flee. With no money left, and a relentless pursuer after her, there is only one way to secure passage on board the ship to Philadelphia—become indentured servants. On the long journey to the colonies of America, Suzanne becomes gravely ill and Johan has a Priest on board marry them. However, once she begins to recover, she has no memory of the wedding. And Johan finds himself questioning if they are truly married—since arriving in Philadelphia, he has seen the “priest” who married them aboard the ship dressed as a surveyor and a Quaker cleric, but not as a priest. Is he really a priest and are they really married? What are God's plans for them in the colonies? Wow! Carrie Fancett Pagels has written a fantastic, gripping story set in the 1700's spanning France, Germany and the American colonies. Suzanne and Johan soon became favorite characters along with her brother and his girlfriend and many interesting secondary characters. In addition to the character who had evil intentions, we clearly see the turmoil as Huguenots were persecuted and even killed for their beliefs. All of which had me reading late into the night to read “just one more chapter” to see would happen next. I loved Suzanne's strength, courage and devotion to her ailing mother. I loved how Johan turns to and trusts God in all things, following His leading in his life—even if it means danger....and danger follows close behind him and Suzanne as they flee. I enjoyed watching their budding romance despite their class distinctions, which is prohibitive of a romantic relationship between them. I overjoyed to see their spiritual growth—especially Suzanne's as she learns that she must have her own faith and build her own personal relationship with God—a life-changing turning point in her life. They both had to learn to adjust to a new life in a new country, while keeping their unwavering integrity intact. It is apparent the research for this book has been extensive, giving the reader a glimpse of the turbulent times, the rich history and culture of the early 1700's. The descriptions of each area—France, Germany and the colonies of America—is so well written I could envision them in my mind as I read. I love that Suzanne and Johan's story is based on the author's own family from her families’ genealogy research. Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is a fantastic, gripping story that takes the reader on a journey of suspense, intrigue, secrets, deception and betrayal. Joy, sorrow, grief, hope, integrity, class differences, persecution for a different faith, indentured servitude, courage, romance, fear, spiritual growth—God's provision, love and courage captivate the reader. I highly recommend this book and patiently—well, not so patiently—await the next book. ~I received a PDF copy of this book, this is my honest review~
Carrie Fancett Pagels Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter is an exciting and suspenseful new historical romance novel that readers are not going to want to miss. As an avid fan and reader of Carrie’s books, I am going to have to say this is probably my favorite novel yet! This fresh historic novel is filled with wonderful characters, as well as delightful twists and turns that will keep readers wondering what will happen next. Carrie has written a lovely and captivating story that will keep readers engaged throughout the entire novel! I would recommend this novel to readers that enjoy historical, romance, suspense novels. Genre: historical, romance, suspense Publisher: Pelican Book Group Publication date: July 1, 2016 Number of pages: 346 Content Rating: PG Book Rating: 5 stars A review copy of this book was provided by CelebrateLit and Pagels' Pals.
Historic romantic suspense This is a great story! I loved it from the very first page. It is a wonderful historical romance with much suspense and excitement. The plotline is convoluted with many little surprises. It also calls for a box of tissues at hand, as there is some definite sadness ladled into the adventure, along with a sprinkle of laugh-out-loud moments. Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, a tender narrative of love--full of tension, misunderstandings, self-doubt and expressions of affection--begins in France during the persecution of the Huguenots in the mid-eighteenth century and spills into the American colonies. This time in France was filled with secrets, deceptions, and cruel retaliations that often ended in death for those who chose to join the Protestant faith. The colonies were a stew of people with divergent backgrounds and prejudices. I appreciated the authenticity of the historic settings, as the author imparts the sounds, sights, smells and feel of each scene. The main characters are multi-dimensional and there is quite a cast of interesting secondary characters. It would be fun to read more about the characters and where their lives take them. One aspect of the novel that I particularly enjoyed is the integrity and grit of both Johan and Suzanne. Despite their completely different backgrounds, they both are able to draw upon inner strength and their faith in God to do whatever it takes to survive and move forward. I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical romance, particularly during the reign of Louis XV in France and the Colonial period of the United States. Disclosure: I received a PDF version of this book from the author for my honest review.
A Lovely Story Another great read by Carrie Fancett Pagels. The cover for this book is so eye-catching.....soft and lovely, causing you to want to find out what the story is all about. Even though this is fiction, it was inspired by real people, which makes the events that happen really come to life. So much to absorb and take to heart.....Johan and Suzanne will be with me for quite some time. They traveled many miles and experienced many things, including illness, injury, amnesia and a possible illegal wedding. This book has a lot to offer and I highly recommend it....or any of Carrie's books. I was allowed to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to give a positive review.
Oh my goodness! Carrie Fancett Pagels has done it again. This story, set in the 1700's, had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. From her position as 'noblesse ancienne', the ancient aristocracy of France, Suzanne had much to look forward to. Her hand in marriage to one of the same aristocracy was expected. Roman Catholicism was considered the only religion in France. Why then, did her parents have to believe differently? The Huguenots were to be killed - would there be any reprieve for her? After all, she had gone to mass with her Grand-mere and even had her rosary.... Would she ever learn that God had a plan for her, not for her family, but for herself? How much would it take and would the young German, Johann, have a part in her finally learning to believe?
Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is a lovely story! Carrie Fancett Pagels is a word artist who paints a vivid picture of a time and place in history I knew little about. Based loosely on her own ancestry, Pagels brings attention to the religious and political strife that was prevalent during the 18th century. Suzanne and Johan share a journey fraught with drama and danger and laced with romance. Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is a complex and compelling story recommended for readers who appreciate richly detailed historical fiction! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
The Marquise's Granddaughter is a story is filled with history, intrigue, danger and romance. It may be fiction but the characters were put though such extremes that you felt it was real. From France to the hardship of traveling to the New World was so well written I could almost smell and feel what those travelers had to endure. I highly recommend this story set in the 1700's. With the religious strife that was occurring at that time, the author transported me right into the desperate escape many were driven to.. I really enjoyed this Historical romance. I was gifted a copy for review.
This book is a wonderful historical romance of love, surprises, sadness, tension, misunderstandings, affection, doubt, suspense, happiness, and excitement. The plot begins in France during the persecution of the Huguenots and ends in the American colonies. The time in France is a time of secrets, deceptions, and retaliations that could end in death for those of the Protestant faith. The colonist are people with different backgrounds and prejudices. The author's historic settings have the sounds, sights, smells, and feel of each scene so that you feel you are a part of the story. I love the inner strength of the main characters, Suzanne and Johan, and may interesting secondary characters. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical romance. I was given a copy for my honest review.