Title: The Chateau on the Lake
Author: Charlotte Betts
Genre: Adult - Historical
Release date: 7th May 2015
In 1792 Madeleine Moreou is a teacher at her parent's Academy for Young Ladies and loves her life and job. But, on the night of a masquerade, tragedy hits and Madeleine is left all alone with the only option being to find her estranged family in France.
Comte Etienne d'Aubery knows the war is coming and offers Madeleine to escort her and friend Sophie to France. His home, Chateau Mirabelle is out of the way of the Revolution and gives Madeleine a chance to figure out her life. Chateau Mirabelle has secrets though and Madeleine won't be able to be happy until she figures them out.
One of the best things about being a blogger and getting emails about books is discovering an author you may not have read before. I'm not sure I would have picked up The Chateau on the Lake if it hadn't been for an email or a press release but I'm so glad I know about it and Charlotte Betts now.
The Chateau on the Lake is set in 1792 when the French Revolution was just beginning. Madeleine Moreau is a teacher in a school for girls which was not the norm for a woman of her age during the time. Women were supposed to get married to someone suitable and start a family, not teach. But, Madeleine loves her job and small family and wouldn't have things any other way. After the death of her parents, Madeleine takes a risk and goes to France to seek out the family she never knew she had. It's dangerous but Comte Etienne d'Aubery agrees to escort her and even give her a place to stay at his home, Chateau Mirabelle.
As the book beings in London there is a very strong contrast when the story moves through France. The Chateau on the Lake is spent mostly in the French countryside but we also get to see glimpses of Paris during the Revolution. Charlotte Betts' descriptions of both the setting and the atmosphere are vivid and the detail is amazing. One particular scene of a beheading sticks out in my mind. Betts captures the feelings that a woman of the time would have experienced by seeing this perfectly and also how the crowd reacted.
In regards to the plot, The Chateau on the Lake is both a romance, mystery and historical novel all in one. Betts makes sure there is something for everyone in this book and it's also what made me not able to put it down. I really enjoyed reading about the Revolution and how things changed over time. Chateau Mirabelle and the people surrounding it were so interesting and there was a whole host of interesting characters to get to know. Then there were the secrets. Oh how I loved the mystery in this book. It was woven in to the rest of the plot so well.
I loved Madeleine as a protagonist. She was such a strong character with an exceptionally strong voice. She's never afraid to voice her opinions and she always went for what she wanted. Madeleine stood out next other ladies around her because she wasn't like them. She wasn't only interested in finding a husband but instead wanted a life for herself first. What I liked the most about Madeleine was how brave she was. In a time when war was looming, she travelled to France and it could have been extremely dangerous for her.
I am so glad I took a chance on a new author and The Chateau on the Lake. I couldn't put it down; I had to take it to work with me because I didn't want to wait until I got home to carry on reading. Charlotte Betts is an author I'll be looking out for in the future.