Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Silence in the Mist by Leah Marie Brown


Published Date: July 7th, 2011

Finished Date: July 16th, 2011

Publishers: Eternal Press

Format: Kindle edition Blurb from Goodreads: After bloodthirsty revolutionaries murder her family, Françoise Despres vows to avenge their deaths and fight the violent mob destroying her beloved France. Becoming a spy for the counter-revolutionary cause, she knows great success, silently slipping between the shadows to carry secret messages that thwart her foes. But she never expected to come up against Sebastien de Brézé, a daring, clever cavalry officer in the revolutionary army and master spy hunter.


When Sebastien discovers the spy he has captured is actually a wily young woman cloaked in men’'s garb, he finds himself intrigued and titillated. But the elusive woman slips through his grasp, leading him on a chase through France. Undaunted, he makes it his mission to recapture Françoise Despres, body and soul.

From the misty forests of the Vendée to the dark, perilous streets of Revolutionary France, SILENCE IN THE MIST is a dazzling tale of intrigue, danger, and forbidden desire.


My Review: It is the year 1793, and the war between the revolutionaries and the very sadly outnumbered counter-revolutionaries rages on.

Françoise Despres has been thru one tragedy after another in quick succession. First, it was the death of her parents(who were minor noblemen) under the hands of street scums who are against aristocrats when she was four. She and her two elder brothers were adopted by her uncle who was a priest living in a church. Then came the deaths of her uncle and brothers by some pro-revolutionary mob, of which comprised of non-God-fearing men who stripped down the church of its possessions,at the same time tearing down the only place Françoise had called home in a long time. Yep, that was the last straw. When Renee, one of the most venerated soldiers in the counter-revolutionary army, rushed into the church and saved her terrified little ass. That was when she entered the counter-revolutionary army folds and became one o their top master spies.

Colonel Sebestian de Brézé is one of the most accomplished, bravest, and most compassionate soldier in the French revolution army(not to mention handsome, tall, skilled, and very sexy. yum, haha). Due to some "upstairs" political reason, his general, General Hoche, sent him around the country to round up insurgents and spies.

Sebestian corners Françoise in the misty forests of the Vendée one day, and there starts our protagonists' journey towards learning each other, accepting each other, and ultimately to fall for one another(badly).

Their love story wasnt a smooth one, oh no, it was terribly fraught with perils, both mortal and on the emotional level. For one, both of them are on the opposite sides of the war, and it was Sebestian's duty to bring Françoise to justice. They had to be wary of each other, constantly trying to see thru the other's lies.

When people found out about their feelings for each other, there came the betrayals and hardship for both our protagonists. So yep, there's the main problem to solve in the book laid out for you: how can these two headstrong enemies become a couple with both sides of the war hammering down on them, thinking both of them disloyal to each side of the cause?

The synopsis and book cover are deinitely winners. The beginning was captivating. But the ending was....disappointing.

Brown started the book by describing the dense Vendean forests where first our protagonists met. You've gotta admit, it was enchanting. I loved it. The chase was very original. Haha, no words to describe it. Françoise tried vaulting over a river but hit her head on a brach so Sebestian had to jump in to save her. Yes, the enemy saved her. That alone says a lot on our dear male protagonist already. He is utterly endearing and adorable. And it tells of a daring heroine who is definitely more than just a pretty little nobleman's daughter in frills and laces.

The brutality of the plots and schemes and the complexity of the political games makes the whole story even more believable. Françoise's people betrayed her to the revolutionaries, thinking her loyalty has already wavered after being seen with a "revolutionary scum" and that being neutralized now would be the best plan. She got captured and severely brutalized(she lost her vision in one of her eyes..yeah, that's how bad it got). It's good that Brown didnt hold anything back, cause it would just get impractical and all. Not only did the betrayal card play on Françoise, Sebestian was also betrayed by General Hoche, his long revered and respected idol. Ok, that was a big spoiler...wasnt it?

The romance part of it all started out nice and slowly. I really liked it that she didnt rush things thru, taking her time to fully develop the character's feelings for each other amidst the tumultous times. They were so sweet together. Oh man, such darlings! The way Brown set this relatonship in the beautiful French(the language of love, ma cheries!)-what do you call them..counties?-counties, creates an image in my head so beautiful that i just want to sink in and soak up all the love! haha, ok back to the story. It's also good that Brown didnt dwell too much on the sex part in the book(they only had it once), which contrasts to all those other books that make sex a vital role in relationships(i wonder why). It makes their love all the more sweet and romantic:)

I've said that Brown dragged out the romance nice and steadily right? It got real intense when they finally admitted their feelings for each other(that's where they made love..whoo.that was reeeaaal hot), but Brown just HAD to make the ending anti-climatical. It was like, building up the sexual tension..build..build...build, EXPLODE!! Then, ok im satisfied, bye bye. What, in the name of mine, is that? why why why why why?? When they got together, i literally sighed in happiness for them! Then came the Sebestian's departure for the next war. WHAT?! yeah that's the end. This reminds me of Odysseus. He had to go to this war which lasted for 10 years unwillingly, then had to sail thru hell another 10 years to return home. At least he had a happy ending. WHAT IS THIS?!?! I demand an enovella to explain what happened later!!:(( I hate separations, especially if it's at the end. It makes me so sad!! And i could really feel my heart constrict when Sebestian rode off to war. sigh..

Ok, now the ending. It was abrupt and awkward. Brown rushed thru it and left a lot of things unexplained. For example, she didnt mention how Françoise saved Sebestian's brother from capture; she didnt explain how the war ended; she didnt explain how General Hoche(good guy turned bad) and his partner-in-crime Robbespierre got into jail. It just kind of pops out on you and suddenly the The End's just there in the next page.

This is a fact-based novel. It seemed that many things listed and all really did happen in history, but it never got boring like it does in history lessons.

Overall comments: An intriguing plot. Witty, thrilling, captivating and non-stop action. The scenic descriptions was beautiful, the entirety of it was heartbreaking(did i phrase things right?sounds weird..but oh well). It was altogether really eventful, but the excitement and all dwindled down slowly. Still, i liked it, but because of the loopholes and unsatisfactory ending, i gave it a 3.5. If Brown could've encompassed a wider and more wholesome plot, i would've gladly gave it a 5.

My Rating:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a wonderful review of my novel, Silence in the Mist. I am sorry the story ended too abruptly for you (editor's decision, not mine) but I am thrilled you wish to know more about Francoise and Sebastien.

    You might enjoy my blog - Titillating Tidbits About the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette

    Happy reading!

    Leah Marie Brown


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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