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by Rosalind Laker

Download The Sugar Pavilion eBook
Rosalind Laker
Genre Fiction
Doubleday; 1st edition (January 1, 1994)
370 pages
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1275 kb
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1439 kb
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During the French Revolution, Sophie Delcourt and Antoine, a four-year-old French noble, escape to England, where Sophie must guard Antoine's identity while she builds a confectionery business, joins the British royal circle, and comes to love two very different men
  • Vudomuro
This is one of my favorite period romance novels (and among my favorites in general), I actually purchased it as a little girl, drawn in by the lovely cover illustration. Fearing I had misplaced it in a recent move and now in my late-twenties eager to re-read it I purchased it again only to find my previous copy, but happy to have a backup. :)
  • Madis
This is the first book I didn’t like by this author. The plot is very weak and the dialogue at some points is boring and naïve.

This is a story of a young woman who flees France for England during the French Revolution with her four year old charge to protect his identity. They arrive in Brighton, which is a fashionable English resort, also known as nestle for French emigres. She finds a job to utilize her skills in confection, which she had learned from her father. Later she makes it on her own.

This author’s usual theme is a strong female character, who makes it on her own and easily meets a real prince or a charming gentleman; usually two men fighting for one woman. It gets boring after a couple books.

The story starts a bit slow. It gets interesting once they reach Brighton, but then the plot weakens and the dialogue is boring and naïve.

At the beginning of Brighton arrival, there are a few themes well-presented: the world of French confectionary comes alive and is very interesting; the time period of French Revolution forcing many aristocrats to flee their country and making their new home in Brighton; difficulty in finding ‘proper jobs’ with serving jobs being out of question; the illegal trade of exporting wool and importing silk, tea and other products; the difficulty of law enforcement to bring illegal traders to justice due to locals covering up for them, so they can gain products in reduced prices.

After a strong short part, the story becomes very trivial. If you like historical fiction, rich in historical details, then this is not the book.
  • Livina
Thank you!
  • Bev
I enjoyed the read. Held my interest with a few twists along the way. This is my first with this author so I will try another of hers.
  • Zepavitta
Great Read, with historical data and trivia you would never have know otherwise, it's fun.
  • Kison
Very enjoyable historical novel. I highly recommend it.
  • Ckelond
There are authors we love -- and for me, Rosalind Laker is one. I love her independent heroines, men of character and details of ordinary life. These aren't just romances; they are slices of history. In this case, we learn all about the making of candy, of the poor Prince Regent's marriage (s) and the smuggling trade. Yet those details don't clog the story down; they add to its richness (kind of like her candy). There are harrowing scenes as the Revolution engulfs France, and our h escapes w/a young aristocrat in her charge. She is knocked about once in England, but she never quits. She goes to work, first as a maid, then sewing linens and eventually, making candy. For lovers of romance, the passion is slow -- almost like real life as love happens as we get to know each other.
Sophie Delcourt is a treat -- we were rooting for her all the way. With two love interests, the story takes its time winding through; but the end is worth it. Laker's books present realistic portrayals of the time and the people, and leave readers with fascinating tidbits of history to hold them, along with the romance. (I received a copy from NetGalley. Opinions are mine)
Laker's tale of Sophie Delcourt starts in 1793 at the height of the French Revolution as Sophie is forced to flee to England with her employer's young son Antoine de Juneau and his aging grandfather, as the revolutionaries hunt down and kill any members of the aristocracy they can find. Sophie reaches England in safety by is set upon by villains who attack her party and rob them of everything and leave them for dead. Found by the gorgeous (of course) and mysterious (of course) Tom Foxhill she eventually recovers from the attack and she and Antoine settle in Brighton, England with young Antoine posing as Sophie's nephew. Sophie uses her skills as a confectionery to establish a business in her new life as she is torn by her strong attractions to Tom as opposed to the quiet but strong and loving revenue agent, Rory Morgan.

Laker mixes Sophie's tale in with one of George, then Prince of Wales, and his "wife" Maria Fitzherbert and their on again off again relationship. I have to admit sometimes it was a bit of a stretch the way commoner Sophie was able to step in and out of George's and Maria's lives without so much of a raising of an eyebrow, but otherwise this was a genuinely entertaining tale. As Sophie battles to maintain her independence while being courted by two men who love her, danger from France threatens as a relative of the de Juneau's plots to harm Julian and remove any possibility of his laying claim to his rightful inheritance in France.

The author does a nice job of setting her scenes and includes plenty of period detail, with the clothes, food, etc. To some readers it may be a bit much and it does slow the story down at times, so you're not going to have a sit on the edge of your seat page turning story, but one to sit back and savor at a leisurely pace. Not the greatest entry in the historical fiction genre, but still a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in another century. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.