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Gastien: The Cost of the Dream: A Caddy Rowland Historical Family Saga/Drama (The Gastien Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Caddy Rowland
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Gastien has dreams far bigger than a mere peasant has a right to. When he flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn't die, but Gastien would have had he not left.

He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.

However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.

Left with only his dreams, Gastien stubbornly pushes on. He vows that absolutely nothing will stop him, not yet realizing what keeping that vow might mean. Sometimes the "impossible" is possible - but the cost can be extremely high.

This historical fiction novel is book 1 of a 5 book drama/family saga for adults (The Gastien Series). As such, it contains adult themes and graphic scenes. Each book can stand on its own, but is most compelling read in order.

Historic people, places, events and things mentioned: Impressionism, bohemia, Acdémie Julian, bourgeois, Crémerie Restaurant Polidor, absinthe, hashish, L'Estaque, Le Procope, Montmartre, Notre Dame de Paris, artist, gentry, peasant

Editorial Reviews


"Full of emotion...hard to put this book down."
-Crystal Trent Dotson of crystaltrentdotsonreviews.

"Unbelievably amazing read!I have never felt so much emotion from reading one single book before."
- Chrstina Irelan, Intoxicatedbybooks

" I was absorbed into this book from the very first chapter, loving and feeling along with the characters. It is a testament to the author that the storyline flows so well, with well placed and in depth sex scenes that are not for the faint hearted."
-Jennie Bookaholics

"...a very dark and emotional masterpiece...many writers struggle with conveying emotional complexity, but Caddy Rowland draws you in with it...I laughed, I will not want to put this book down."
-Misty Rayburn, The-Top-Shelf

"..had no idea it would be so emotionally profound. Caddy packs no punches for politcal correctness in this book...the question of what you would do to achieve your dreams. If you are a reader willing to push beyond your boundaries, I would strongly recommend getting this book."
-Beccie Weaver, Bookies

"...The pacing and structure are perfectly judged and help to develop Gastien's story. What really makes this a cut above many other historical dramas is the emotional complexity of Gastien, which creates a great deal of empathy. He feels - and this is quite rare in historical fiction - like a real person.
-Chris Algernon, IndieBookSpot

"The highest I can rate it is five. However to me, this is one of the best books I have read in years. It will be a long time before another book will be able to take it's place." -Moissanite Jewel, book reviewer

From the Author

The Gastien Series is complete and includes the following titles:
Gastien: The Cost of the Dream (Book 1)
Gastien: From Dream to Destiny (Book 2)
Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion (Book 3)
Giselle: Keeper of the Flame (Book 4)
Gastien: Circle of Destiny (Book 5)
The Gastien Series is many things: historical fiction, drama, family saga, psychological novel. Some are also coming of age and love stories. The last books include gay coming of age and gay romance. Just like any family, there are many stories to tell.

It is dark, sad, upsetting, heartwarming, funny and always thought-provoking. There are a few blatantly cruel scenes and some extremely tender ones. The series tackles social issues such as class struggle, homelessness, the quest for power, bigotry, family secrets, and shows how one man's choices effect others for generations to come.

Be prepared for an extremely emotional read. Yes, at times the characters will upset you. You will love, hate, pity, respect, disrespect and cheer for them. Just like in any family, no one is perfect. Their personality warts are fully displayed. You will grow to feel like a part of the Beauchamps, and when the series is over the characters will stay alive in your mind for weeks.

Come along and join the family. Let them tell you their story. I think you will find the ride unlike any you've taken before.

*This series is meant for adults. As such, it contains adult scenes and themes.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1744 KB
  • Print Length: 493 pages
  • Publisher: Caddy Rowland; 2 edition (September 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FI62BS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ;0) November 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
We are introduced to Gastien, in the beginning of the story, age forty three. The next chapter and throughout the book takes us on a journey of Gastien's life from boy hood to that point where he is in his now in his life.

I have to start out by saying this was a very well thought out and detailed story, and I commend the author. Gastien definitely had many sides to him throughout this story, all due to his upbringing. His father was abusive verbally and physically, as well towards his mother. For Gastien, this started when he was three and a half. With wanting to be an artist, his father thought wit as feminine; Gastien didn't want to be the farmer his dad was. This choice leaves him homeless at one point and struggling throughout certain parts of his life.

Nevertheless, with that being said, it's not all sad. The story has romance, good supporting characters, and wonderful storytelling by the author. This story might not be for everyone and it depends on the taste of the reader. If you are a diehard fan of the historical genre and era in which the story takes place, the 1800s, then you might really enjoy this book. The drama aspect as well, will definitely take you on an emotional ride, as you follow his journey.

A lengthy novel, a good read, and the author surely took you on a journey throughout this book.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erotic Art and History March 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Gastien (Part 1: The Cost of the Dream) is an interesting novel, a blend of history, sex and artistic dreams. It is an illustrative glimpse into a past world decorated with steamy sex and colour.

Set in 19th century France, book tells the beginning of Gastien's story, a French peasant who wants to be an artist. It details his abusive childhood, his escape to Paris, new friendships and sexual relationships, and the suffering he endures to fulfill his aspirations.

The novel's strength is in its main character, a well-written and relatable persona. You do feel for his trials and get a good sense of his personality when reading, as well as engage with his life. Plus, the author did an excellent job with the details of an artist's existence in the time period and the details of painting and technique; I found them realistic. There are some nice historic particulars, too, and the sex scenes are vividly portrayed.

However, the novel does have its problems. I found the prose did get repetitive at times, the plot to be stretched a bit thin, and the story lagged in the middle of the book. Some of the characterization (other than Gastien) is a bit one-dimensional, especially with secondary characters and I found much of the dialogue peppered with too many modern phrases such as "okay" and "gig". These words detracted from the historic feel of the book for me and I felt the characters' speech was at odds with the setting. The author also had the occasional tendency for explanative narrative regarding Gastien's state of mind which I found unnecessary and distracting.

Overall though, I did enjoy the book, so I give it a mild recommendation, though readers should be warned this novel is quite explicit in the portrayal of sex and abuse.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than I expected August 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Unfamiliar with this author and not ordinarily a reader of this genre when a friend of mine loaned me this book I admit I had fairly low expectations. So after half expecting to read a bit and then get bored, instead I found myself completely drawn in to the story. Set in 19th century France the story is of Gastien, the son of a fairly prosperous yet abusive father. Gastien dreams of a life where he can freely live the life of an artist but despite his raw talent the fates have not been kind, putting many obstacles in his path including poverty and lack of formal education among others. Gastien's stunning good looks get him noticed and open many doors, sometimes the wrong ones. Focusing on his art and with trust issues from his abusive past, his relationships are rarely deep, often superficial and sometimes dangerous. The book has a contemporary feel to it in the dialogue and sexuality, but there is enough of 19th century France in there to keep you grounded in place and time. The book has some fairly graphic intense moments but they contribute to the story rather than detract from it. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to pick up a story to get lost in for a couple of days.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gastien Part 1. February 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Review by Ashley Rosenberg from

In Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream by Caddy Rowland, we are introduced to Gastien, a young worker on his father's farm. It is soon realized that Gastien has lived a very hard life under his father's constant abuse, both physically and emotionally, that his mother is powerless to stop. Through the terrors and beatings that Gastien endures, he finds the time to sneak in his love of drawing and painting. As Gastien comes of age, he leaves his family's farm and ventures to Paris and follows his dream of becoming a successful artist. Once in Paris, Gastien experience problem after problem, but he is determined to reach his goal and overcome the many obstacles that stand in his way. But at what cost? Will Gastien be able to achieve his dream or will he lose himself along the way?

Not only was this book written very well, it was written in a way that I felt transported back in time. The amount of description in every aspect of Gastien's world was mesmerizing and had me turning the page until the early hours of the morning. There were a couple editorial mistakes, but nothing major that took away from the reading experience. Overall, this book was a good read and I am looking forward to reading the second book after I read the ending to this story.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I would like it. Let my clarify. The book has a lot of brash and to-the-point dialogues when it comes to sexual matters. In fact, when I was reading the book I was hoping that the focal point of the book would switch back to the art aspect of the story. Sex was a strong focal point in this story, and to me, this wasn't the type of romance book that has women swooning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked the story and couldn't put the book down
I liked the story and couldn't put the book down, the historic sense felt true but what grabbed and held me were the primal human needs, the character is no different from anyone... Read more
Published 1 day ago by jhazydaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it!
Published 1 day ago by pugad lawin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
reading this now.
Published 4 days ago by Sharon L Stone
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good read
I liked the book, but it needs a lot of proofing and work on some of the English vocabulary. Gastien is an interesting character, but maybe with a little too much bad luck. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Pattie Peer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy
This book is so good i can't seem to put it down, so I can only read it when I have enough time, but I love it so far
Published 17 days ago by Stacy Barbier
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand
This book is so good. I wouldn't change anything about it. I recommend it to anyone who likes to read.
Published 20 days ago by big mouth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book. This series really captured my interest.
Published 1 month ago by Melissa Petrilla
1.0 out of 5 stars Please delete from my library - I don't care to ...
Please delete from my library - I don't care to even have books containing the vulgar language this book contains.
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gastien...what a man! Book 1
I had had this book for a while in my Kindle. I would see it but kept passing it by. Finally I decided it was time to try it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Norma Meligonis
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Amateurish and needs to be edited.
Published 1 month ago by Lynn Leclercq
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More About the Author

The drama of humanity. We live, die, love, hate, win and lose in a never-ending variety of ways. Often those ways are heart-wrenching. Other times they are not.

Why do people make the choices they do? Why do some abuse power? How do the powerless learn to survive? Why do a few dare to be different, while others conform--and why are so many disturbed by those who don't? These are the questions that have always haunted author Caddy Rowland. Those questions keep her pounding away at her keyboard, creating novels showcasing the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human.

Caddy has always been a nonconformist. She likes to push the proverbial envelope when it comes to characterization and world building. Heroes have warts; villains have soft spots. Main characters don't always learn their lessons because all too often we don't, either. There isn't always a happy ending, but sometimes there is. Otherwise she'd be predictable.

She writes for readers who like to think and feel; who like their stories to be raw, graphic, unpredictable, "real" and sometimes brutal. For readers who like their boundaries challenged; to be shown how rarely life decisions are truly black and white, but instead shades of grey.

Think of a carnival midway with books instead of rides. She asks you make sure you're the minimum height if you plan on riding alone. You must also leave prejudices and inhibitions behind the entry gate. If you can't, Rowland's reads might be a tad much for you. Don't worry. There are plenty of safer reads out there. Just step out of the line and find a more appropriate book for your reading enjoyment.

No, Caddy Rowland's novels aren't for everyone. But then again, they just might be for you.

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Caddy Rowland also writes gay m/m romance under the name of Sibley Jackson.


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