Title: Finding Gabriel
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Synopsis: 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? Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
This is the first book I've read by Rachel L. Demeter and I have to say that I am really impressed. I must confess that when Momentum sent me a copy of Finding Gabriel I initially picked it for review for the hot model in the cover xD Don't judge me I'm kind of a cover addict. But after reading the blurb I knew had to dive in its pages. And I am really glad I gave it a chance because its been months since I read such a good historical novel. It is accurate in its historical events and I love that it doesn't focus just on the romance story but also takes her time to, as I said before, made every little fall into place with the historical accuracy.
This story is full of despair, anger and darkness. It deals with PTSD when it wasn't even diagnosed and shows us the struggle of depression but also how a moment or a someone can change everything by bringing light into the darkness. Mental illness or just a traumatic past can influence life in such a way that it's even harder than body scars itself. That's what Rachel L.Demeter tries to show in Gabriel's character who is both physically and mentally scarred after a tough life. Ariah, the female character, has also deep wounds that have marked her as a person. And miraculously both characters together with the help of young Emmaline will help each other shining light in each others darkness, turning despair into hope, anger into happiness and darkness into brightness.
There are really sad parts in this book that made me shed tears uncontrollably for the injustices of life, specially at that time when women rights were practically nonexistent. There were twists and turns in the plot that got me glued to my computer screen for hours wanting to know what will happen. I would really recommend this book to all romance lovers wanting to experience a bit of a change with a rough but lovable war hero that faces his hardest battle till date trying to win his happily ever after with the woman he loves.