Love’s Dangerous Challenge by Ellynore Seybold

Love’s Dangerous Challenge by Ellynore Seybold
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full length (238 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

During the Reign of Terror in France in the late 1700s, the common people amused themselves by watching the heads of the nobility roll, severed by the guillotine. When Eduard Saulnier falls in love with Countess Annise de Brisson in 1793, he fears that, as a commoner, he will never be allowed to court her. But Annise is staying with her aunt because her parents have been sized by the revolutionaries and condemned to die by the guillotine. Eduard approaches the old lady for permission to court Annise, knowing his chances are slim. However, he is totally unprepared for the old countess’s answer—yes, he may court and marry Annise, after he gets her parents out of prison…any way he can.

Every once in a while, love at first sight happens, but would a man risk his life to prove this? Eduard does. The setting is Revolutionary France, and the dangers are high and everywhere. Luckily, Eduard is a commoner, but he falls for a young aristocratic woman. Since her parents were carted off to prison and scheduled for a probable execution, Eduard has to go to Annise’s great aunt to ask for Annise’s hand in marriage. When the aunt says he can have her blessing if Eduard can get Annise’s parents out of prison, he’s afraid, but luckily for us readers, he takes up this challenge.

What follows is an adventure driven by suspense. Eduard recruits some interesting friends with controversial jobs, such as the executioner. He is a nice young man and likeable from the start. Annise is also likeable as are her family members and Eduard’s friends and family. The author has done a good job at filling out the characters. They are kind-hearted, and their honorable actions are driven by their personal faith, giving them all integrity.

As a reader with a degree in French, I found the world building of this time and place to be exciting and accurate. The challenge given to Eduard was a perfect set-up for suspense. The test was also easy to believe because it required that Eduard have help, and he realized he needed it.

The tone to this story is sweet. The characters have gratitude for what they have, and the love is an innocent young love. There are many tender kisses.

Some questions came up for me as a reader though. Sometimes things happened too easily. For example, why did Annise’s relatives accept Eduard, a stranger, without a remark? Why did another aristocrat, Lukas, accept Eduard’s surprising secret and take it the way he did? Everybody seemed to just accept and be happy upon hearing revelations, and without doubts. Perhaps the tension could have been higher.

This is a pleasant read though, and I’m glad I read it. It was a breath of fresh air reading about people with integrity doing things for good reasons.

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