Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge

The Gabriella Trilogy, Book One (1811)

Romance - Historical
578 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge is a spellbinding opening in The Gabriella Trilogy by Noëlle de Beaufort, a book with elements of historical romance. Lady Gabriella Wyndward is a strong, spirited woman who enjoys her independence and her values, a woman who doesn’t like to bow to the conventions of her time. But she is suddenly thrown into a world with dirty secrets, intrigue, and danger at the very moment when she unveils a plot against her family. As she struggles with the new experience of falling in love, she has to determine who her family's enemies are and stop them from killing another loved one. But can she stop the killer? And what if she is the next target?

Noëlle de Beaufort is a great writer and I enjoyed how she recreates a setting in the 1800s. The Marriage Season in London is something that I found to be very interesting, adding spice to this historical romance. The characters are fleshed out, each with a solid background. The writing is awesome and it leaps off the pages with unusual grace and lyricism. The author has developed a great conflict within a family setting and readers will be interested in following the drama. Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge features interesting historical references and the author does an awesome job in creating dialogues that reflect the manner of speech at the time and turns of phrase. Characters like Bri, Henry, Lord Ravenshire, and many others are real and memorable. This is a very engaging story, fast-paced and beautifully plotted. I couldn’t stop reading, thanks to the drama and the emotional depth of the story.

Francine Zane

Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge is the first book in The Gabriella Trilogy by Noëlle de Beaufort. In this segment, the lovely Gabriella steps forth as an independent thinker who is set on breaking out of the traditional feminine role of the early 1800s. While tiptoeing through the ton during marriage season, she helps her family uncover a long-running conspiracy to ruin the family fortunes and name. Her efforts are met with gossip, subversion, and perhaps even attempted murder.

Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge by Noëlle de Beaufort is a work of art that truly reflects the best of what historical fiction is all about. The author is a brilliant wordsmith who has interwoven the complexities of beautifully crafted characters with the subtle yet intriguing historical references that transport a reader back in time. The plot is solid and the setting is full-bodied, delving not only into the majesty of aristocracy but also the harsh reality of how the poor survived.

The romantic component of the story is complex and smart without being overly erotic, which makes it the perfect story to share with family and friends. While the text is long, it does not drag. Every page is filled with enough detail and action to keep the pace moving toward a satisfying climax that left me eager to move on to the next installment. I was equally intrigued with the full cast of secondary characters who provide Gabriella with the support, and sometimes conflict, necessary to make the story feel real.

Ray Simmons

I loved Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge. I wanted to read something different from my usual choices. I wanted to go back to another time and place. I wanted a book that could take me to another era and, most of all, it must be convincing and well written. Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge by Noelle de Beaufort met all those requirements. I was shown the world of London high society in another era. I was struck by the significance of class in that era and how important small details of behavior mattered. It was like watching one of those British TV shows like Upstairs Downstairs, only better. Much better. I could see where our world comes from and the how and why of how we got here. This book has the quality that I love in a novel. You can’t put it down for long because you simply must get back to the story. You want to know how it ends.

There are a lot of characters in Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge. My favorite is the heroine, Gabriella. She is an intelligent, strong willed woman who is ahead of her time. She is passionate, but at the same time very practical. These can be traits that land a beautiful woman in trouble in any age, but they can also be a blessing. The plot is good. I can see families seeking this type of revenge in an era where honor is everything. The dialogue in this story is excellent. The nuances of society are displayed in every conversation and this is a strong point of Noelle de Beaufort’s writing. Read this novel. It steps outside the boundaries of the usual historical fiction tale.