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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Noble Satyr: Roxton Foundation Series Book 1 by Lucinda Brant is an 18th-century twisted tale of aristocracy, manners, love, and family conniving in the very best grand style of Georgian and Regency romances. Antonia is a young woman in peril. Despite being brought up by her father, against the prevailing customs and traditions, to be forthright, educated, and progressive, she is stuck in the court of Versailles, where her future is at the political whims of aristocratic men. Determined she will marry only for love and certainly not the son of the Comte de Salvan, who has been chosen for her, she seeks an escape, a way out of this predetermined fate. Hatching an escape plan, she traps the notorious but incredibly powerful Duke of Roxton, a believed relative, into assisting her to escape from the palace of Versailles. Roxton is a known womanizer, who is rumored to have bedded most of the women at court. Despite his arrogant, promiscuous, and fearsome reputation, Antonia is convinced her cousin will prove to be her savior from the disgusting, lascivious, and conniving Comte de Salvan and his opium-addicted and mind-addled son.
Noble Satyr is an absolute joy to read. Author Lucinda Brant’s fulsome and incredibly descriptive prose is musical in its pace and poetic in its style. What the author does beautifully, in my opinion, is contrast the foppery and utter frivolousness of the Georgian era and their aristocratic courts, with the cutting, dark, English humor and common sense portrayed perfectly by the character of Lord Vallentine, the Duke of Roxton’s best friend and suitor of his sister. For me, Vallentine was the absolute star of the narrative, as he beautifully countered Roxton’s arrogance, Antonia’s naivete, and Estée’s proper decorum with his sardonic wit and straightforwardness at a time when that was anything but the norm. The passion and love between Roxton and Antonia are evident from the instant they connect and I must commend the author for her sympathetic and elegant writing when it came to the love scenes, which were beautifully composed and incredibly sensual. The story is extremely well plotted and includes unexpected twists and turns, plus the odd red herring thrown in for good measure that will keep readers wondering and interested right to the end. I love a story where the bad boy is tamed by love and this novel is high up among the best I have read. I can highly recommend this read.