Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.
After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon’s army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.
But fate has a different plan.
Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she’s moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.
Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah—and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah’s own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts—or will the cycle of history repeat again?
There’s a reason for everything and sometimes the most important battle we fight is one that allows us to forgive ourselves.
Finding Gabriel is historical romance about a wounded hero and the heroine who teaches him how to be brave off the battlefield. Together, they learn to live again and reasons to love again. It’s a beautiful and poignant story of healing the wounds that can be seen and the deeper, potentially more fatal wounds that can’t be seen, This is a smoothly written novel that took me back in time to live each and every scene in detail.
Gabriel is a commander, a soldier who have fought wars and came home when others of his squad didn’t. War is never easy on anyone but especially for those on the front line. What made this book more personal, more real is that Gabriel is fighting an internal war that is every bit as harsh and painful as what he sees on the battlefield. PTSD is more in the forefront of national news today but it isn’t a new condition since wars have been fought since the beginning of time. Gabriel’s a hero who doesn’t want the notoriety, he welcomes and even pursues death. When death alludes him on the battlefield he takes matters into his own hands. Fate has other plans and sends him an angel in the form of widower and single mother, Ariah.
Ariah is the wife of a soldier who has not answered his letters in months. She fears the worst. When she finds a floating almost dead body of Gabriel in the River Seine. She cannot find in her self to let him die. Ariah was an easy heroine to cheer for. She’s not had an easy life, she wasn’t a part of the French aristocracy, she’s a commoner who was dealt a bad home life and chose to make a better life for herself and her daughter.
When I originally chose this book, I first noticed the page count and thought It would take me at least a couple of days, if not longer, to finish it. I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading straight through. The story flows seamlessly and the emotions, especially for Gabriel, are just so raw. The romance builds slowly between Gabriel and Ariah but the timing is perfect.
This book is a must read for those who want to experience a man taken to his lowest possible point and then the glory of healing love. This is one of those stories that you still feel even after the last page. Pick up a copy and be prepared to immersed into beautiful world building and characters who steal your heart.