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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Great read!

    Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary advance reader copy of this book in return for review based upon my honest opinion. Every book I read from this author is a joy to read. This book is told in a dual storyline, the present day in the 1790s in France. In the present, a group of five friends in their late 50s has a little too much to drink one night and decide to buy a château in France together, it seems like a fantasy. When they start talking about it more, they realize they all really want to do this. The house they choose is a French château with a history that they will need to uncover, a history that leads back to the French revolution, rumours that their château is haunted, and rumours of the last Comte de Verais and his missing wife. The past story is told from the viewpoint of the Comte and Comtesse de Verais who were nobility who lived in the palace of Versailles and who fled for their château as the revolution endangered their lives. But how safe will they be at the château, and what will they do to try to save themselves and their children. I loved all the characters, they were well written and enjoyable, I mean who doesn’t want to buy château in France with their friends? I liked the history of the book, I have not read many historical fiction books from the time of the French revolution. The scenery was stunning and set the scene very well. The book seemed very well researched and the story was moving and left me with a smile.

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  • Escape to a French Chateau

    I loved this book and recommend it to fans of Beatriz Williams and The Lost Vintage. Head to France in The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl. This story starts out with five friends starting retirement joking about buying a home together in the south of France. It alternates chapters between present day with protagonist Lu and the couple who owned the chateau the friends buy, Pierre and Catherine as well as their servant Claudette, on the cusp of the French Revolution. While her friends set out on their own hobbies Lu begins to uncover the history of the Chateau and what happened to the family who lived there. I enjoyed seeing both storylines play out and converge as Lu learns more and more. Was a charming story with beautiful settings and cozy friends. After finishing the book I want to retire to the south of France with my best friends.

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  • Gripping tale

    The Secret of the Chateau is a gripping story that enthralls from beginning to end. The setting is gorgeous- from Versailles to a chateau in the French Alps. If you are ever going to fall in love with a setting in a book, this is a strong contender for your affections. I’ve been to Versailles, and a small village in France and this story quickly took me back there. It is two stories in one - a modern-day tale of a group of friends transitioning into retirement together and a historical tale of the Comte and Comtess of Verais during the French Revolution. I found the historical fiction to be the most compelling and poignant of the two stories. That period is fascinating to me. Admittedly it is fascinating in a car wreck kind of way but still engaging. It was a clear case of man’s inhumanity to man. So many people died by Guillotin when their only crimes were being born to a titled family and obliviousness. Most nobles were not malicious or perpetrators of crimes. The current day story was not as intriguing, but it was still a charming tale. I would never even think of having a retirement home to live in with my spouse and our three closest friends. Their plight, though, did not hold my attention like the struggles of the chateau’s former occupants. The mystery and the paranormal aspects gave the novel a fun, chill-inducing twist. I love a good haunting story, and this one did not disappoint. I also enjoyed the plethora of pets, from the kittens – Flip and Flop – to the dog, Felix, and Clarabel the goat. It is a lovely cast of pet characters that are all endearing. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Wonderful Read

    Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, were just married and had moved into the royal palace. Catherine was so excited to be with Queen Marie Antoinette. She was now one of her Ladies in Waiting. The apartment was so beautiful, opulent, and sumptuous. She trusted her husband even though he was older. He was still good looking even at fifty. He worshipped her and would do anything for her. The other half of the book is about Lu and Phil, Manda and Steve, and finally Gray. They decide to sell their houses and move to France. They have been forced into retirement and have nothing keeping them in England. There are a lot of twists and turns. So many things happen to all of them. It is heart-rending and heartwarming. You will go through a wide spectrum of emotions. Crying, laughing, and just being happy. The characters are engaging and it keeps our attention. France is described in such beautiful prose. The excitement of court and the fear about what comes later is present. You can feel the tensions grow and the mystery is always present for Lu. I also highly recommend it. I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it and loved it.

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  • Well worth the read and learn something too

    Yes Read this book -When first suggested, I thought NO. One of "those" summer reads over a few glasses of wine.. But-keep the wine and enjoy. You have a nice blend of real history, travel, adventure and mystery. You have : real history real parts of France realistic and very possible characters a well done transition between past and present Keep the wine and enjoy

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