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Dark Angels: A Novel Paperback – May 29, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Alice Verney is a tough young survivor, serving the King of England's sister, Henriette-Anne, as one of her maids-of-honour. Married at a young age to Louis XIV's brother, Monsieur, Madame is coming to England to visit her beloved brother, Charles II, and Alice is coming with her. Of course, for stubborn Alice, it's also going to be a chance to see her machinating father, Sir Thomas, and the man who jilted her for one of her best friends. It's a rare chance to serve up a dish of cold revenge, and Alice is more than ready to do so with a plan that will not only catapult her into the heights of the king's court, but also enable her to snap her fingers at any future trouble as well.
But that is going to take some patience and skill, as Alice's target is rather unaware of her scheme. The Duke of Balmoral is elderly, and the uncle of Lord Colefax, the man who spurned Alice years earlier. Cole, married to the stuttering Caro, is still hot for Alice, so she is not only dodging her former suitor, but others who are interested in her as well. Finally, there are Alice's fellow maids-of-honour, her friend Barbara, shy and loving a man who has little to recommend him and Renee, a beautiful French girl of good birth and little money.Read more ›
Koen has a knack for hooking the reader early on with hints and promises, and interesting characters. She writes romantic heroes, heroines and villains extremely well, as readers of "Through a Glass Darkly" know. I flew through the pages and loved the characters, costumes and themes centering on the struggles between love and greed or jealousy, forgiveness and revenge, and strategic scheming and surprise. Koen transports you to the decadent Courts of the Sun King (Louis XIV of France & creator of Versailles) and Charles II of England, and drapes you in damask, jewels and lace, and on the next page sends you to seedy brothels and privy court chambers for some debauchery, drunkeness and gambling. Regicide, religious wars, royal gossip and exploits, romance and gold digging rule the day. It is delicious fun!
The real story of "Dark Angles" introduces us to Alice Verney who is first a young Maid of Honor to Princess Henrietta Anne of France (sister to Charles II of England) and then a not-so-young Maid of Honor to the shunned Queen Catherine in England. She's had her heart broken in love and loyalty through the betrayals of a friend and lover, and the murder of Madame, Princess Henrietta. Alice puts up a condescending, stand-offish front in an attempt to protect herself and others, and finds that such a barrier isolates us from those we love, rather than keep them close. She is sassy, spoiled, scheming and sophisticated, and yet disillusioned by life at court. We see an early glimpse of the life lessons that shaped the loving, accepting and wise grandmother we met in "Through a Glass Darkly".Read more ›
Barbara of TAGD and NFTF was the conventional romance heroine: beautiful, plucky, encounters misfortune but ultimately prevails. Alice, the grandmother of TAGD, is a more complex, more realistic, more human character. I found myself rooting more for Alice than I ever did for Barbara, who had too much going for her too young.
People who have never read Karleen Koen, and who would scoff at the typical romance novel, should read this book. It is full of carefully-researched details about the late 17th century (an extremely interesting time that truly lays the groundwork for the modern era in which we live). Koen brings this century to life. I felt transported to that time, which I have found very rarely in books and movies that attempt to portray times other than our own.
Whether you're a TAGD fan, looking for a good story, or a European history buff, I recommend this book. It has enough of the "old" to remain interesting to Koen fans, with plenty of the "new" style to attract first-time Koen readers. Don't miss it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story of how Alice changes from an overbearing, know-it-all to a woman who becomes aware off her conceit and learns how to love is a truly heartwarming tale. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Bernadine Mccarthy
I just love anything she writes. She knows how to make really interesting characters and creates a very enjoyable story.Published 13 days ago by j. robles
I really enjoyed reading these books and am already looking for others written by this author. Very good read especially if you enjoy English history woven in with the story line.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
too long....too many names in one character..i skipped many pages of a very looooong book!!Published 18 days ago by miss brooks
Loved it. Kept me up hours past my bedtime! Well written, entertaining, interesting and easy to read. Can't wait to read next one.Published 19 days ago by ElaineSheets
Real history with a bold, unusually striking story of court intrigue, love, hate and loyalty. The beginning a bit confusing but worth it to get to the meat. Hard to put down. Read morePublished 20 days ago by carolina girl
After reading 900 and some pages this book finally wound up on the second last page and we were left sort of hanging. Read morePublished 23 days ago by M. Elizabeth McPhee