Cover Image: Along a Breton Shore

Along a Breton Shore

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Member Reviews

I am struggling to put into words how this book made me feel. I rate books on the ✨️vibes✨️ and I got so many vibes at once that my brain may have broken down temporarily.

Let's start with the romance. Maxence and Armelle are essentially enemies. Armelle's beliefs are a death sentence under the new regime, so when Maxence is ordered to kill her and cannot complete his task, they are both forced to go on the run. So within an intense and bloody setting, we have a super sweet and trope-y romance that I adored.

Then there was a portion of the story that, without giving anything away, wrecked me. As in, I was sobbing and inwardly cursing Arlem for doing this to us. But in a country torn apart by revolution, happily ever afters don't always follow a straight line. 

I was at peace in the end, so I think Arlem did a fantastic job at portraying the risks of love, and how the joy of love is worth the heartbreak it can cause.

I do recommend reading Beyond the Lavender Fields prior to reading this book because the characters overlap. And once you read that book, please please pick up Along a Breton Shore because the beauty of these characters is unparalleled 💕
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She has done it again! Arlem Hawks has written a truly magnificent tale of adventure, romance, and growth.

If you’re a fan of historical romance, anything to do with France, and slow burn, this will be for you. Maxence’s story broke my heart, even if his circumstance was from his own doing. The ending made the book and I loved it!! 

It felt like every chapter was chock full of something that kept you engrossed throughout the whole book.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This book broke me, but in the best way possible. Both the immersion in history and the romance were beyond incredible. 

I read "Beyond the Lavender Fields" by Arlem Hawkes in anticipation of this book being released. Based off that book, I was curious what kind of main character Maxence would be. I wasn't skeptical per se, but I was intrigued and curious. 

Any previous trepidation wasn't a problem though. Despite his history, I loved Maxence and his relationship with Armelle. The characters go through a lot during the book, and their relationship really added a level of hope to the story despite the danger, cruelty, and uncertainty they faced.  

"Along a Breton Shore" is the story of Maxence and Armelle's fates suddenly becoming intertwined in the space of a single day. Despite being on opposing sides of the French Revolution, they suddenly find themselves fugitives together. Traveling through war-torn France, the likelihood of them finding a haven from the violence and danger seems as unlikely as them finding an accord despite their differing opinions. But then again, unlikely doesn't mean impossible...

Overall, I couldn't say more good things about this book. Arlem Hawkes nails the historical accuracy. I learned so much about the French Revolution and felt completely immersed in the history while reading. The romance was also spot on and really lent an air of hope to the story, despite the historical setting being rather grim at times. 

It was one of the best books I've read all year, and very worth every minute spent reading it.
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The French Revolution (1794) is such a compelling time to set a story.  It is hard to cheer for the idealistic revolutionaries as they are becoming as repressive as the previous leaders.  Maxence Etienne wants to be a hero and change the world.  He is also a loyal soldier.  Armelle is strong willed trying to survive and keep her family safe.  When she is caught and Max is ordered to kill her he allows her to get away.  She later rescues him which puts them on the run together.  

Max and Armelle have differing views but need to trust each other to survive.  I like that the author includes a list of characters and the pronunciation for their names.  She does the same from French and Breton terms (although many should be familiar).  And I like the Historical notes at the end also saying where she drew information from or things she changed to fit the story.  I read this easily as a stand alone and have not read Max’s brothers story in Beyond the Lavender Fields (Feb 2022).

This is clean historical romantic fiction with some kissing and war time violence.  Overall the story is compelling and the characters are easy to keep straight although there are many.  I will look forward to what Arlem writes next.  Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Not gonna lie, I did not like Maxence in "Beyond the Lavender Fields." He did not come across as a good person at all. This story showed me that there is usually more to a person than what they show on the outside.
Aside from the confusing French names, words, and phrases (I am thankful for the pronunciation guide at the beginning, but the words still don't flow from my brain), this was a very captivating story. After finishing the first book in this series, I did a little bit of research into the French Revolution. While reading this book, I was very tempted to do more research. I know that a historical novel is well-written when I want to keep pausing my reading to look up information about what is happening in the book.
This definitely isn't a "love at first sight" kind of story. It takes quite a while to get there, in fact, which is great for me. I tend to love the getting there part more than the actual romance part.
This is a very well-written story, and I highly recommend it.
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I wasn't sure about this one, since I didn't love Maxence in Beyond the Lavender Fields, but I ended up loving the book! I thought it was a beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness. I loved Armelle as well! She was such an endearing character. The plot was interesting and the characters were engaging and kept me reading until the end!
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Arlem Hawkes is an author I will never say no to reading.  I really enjoyed this story.  The setting was suspenseful and exciting.  The characters were relatable and perfectly imperfect.  

I loved the way Armelle was so impetuous and fearless in her actions.  Maxence was such an interesting character.  He’s all confidence and bravado on the outside but hurting and lonely on the inside.  They both went through a lot of growth and change as they developed a relationship together.  Each helping the other to become better. 

Tropes included:
One Bed
Forced Proximity 
Fake Marriage
He Falks First.  

There was a lot of historical detail which was very enlightening to me.  I enjoyed learning a little more about France and its history.  This was a great read that I would highly recommend.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own .
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Arlem Hawks is an auto-read author for me! I love how much research and detail she includes in her stories and I was so excited that she wrote a sequel to Beyond the Lavender Fields

Max is instructed by a superior officer to kill Armelle, a girl who was disrespectful to a local priest, but he can't bring himself to pull the trigger. Soon Max and Armelle are on the run together and find that even though they are on opposing sides, they must learn to work together. As their feelings for each other grow, they also have to decide who to trust - and what they really want - if they have any hope of surviving or of a future together.

What to expect:
French revolution
Reluctant allies on opposing sides
Historical "roadtrip" romance
He falls first
Only one bed
Suspense and adventure
Lots of historical details
Fake relationship
Character depth
Sweet romance

I loved the sweet buildup of romance between Max and Armelle. The pacing felt very natural and I loved every interaction!

Major Spoilers ahead:

I will confess that the plot twist toward the end left me reeling. Ultimately the main characters did get their HEA but the twist involving Caroline's death overshadowed the main storyline for me and even after processing it for a few weeks, I still can't get over it. I am so confused why the author killed off a main character from the first story. I was devastated and honestly don't know if I can ever read Beyond the Lavender Fields again knowing that Caroline and Gilles have such a short HEA. We already knew from Georgana's Secret that he would be widowed at some point, but the fact that she dies within just a few years of marriage was a complete shock.

If you love historical romance that makes history come alive with vivid characters and a compelling plot, then this is definitely a book for you!

I received a complimentary copy but a positive review was not required.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing.

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance, Proper Romance, French Revolution
Spice Level: Sweet (slow burn with kissing)
Tropes: Grumpy/Sunshine, Opposites attract

ALONG A BRETON SHORE features the Breton coast which I knew nothing about. I loved the work put into this novel to show the differences of opinions during the French Revolution. Sure, I knew some nobles escaped to England, but I didn't know how ordinary people living outside of Paris felt about the reforms thrust upon them.

Armelle is loyal to family and desperately wants to see her father return. She's spunky, loves to laugh and tease, and gets into trouble very, very easily.

Maxence has abandoned his family when they didn't want him and put his heart and soul into the new republic, to better everyone's lives.

The unseen layers of both Armelle and Maxence are brought to light on their escape. I was caught from the beginning to the end. (As a confession, I wished the ending was about 5 pages longer with more declarations of love and kissing, etc.)

I adored how they had to overcome misperceptions and rubbed each other the wrong way. This is not a book of miscommunication as it is of deeply not understanding one another, lying to oneself, and finding yourself before being able to love others.

The historic setting is wonderful! I love the author notes in the back, separated according to chapters so it would be easy to go back and see what happened and where the discrepancies were intentionally made. The amount of research used in this historical romance is amazing!

Are you going to love it?

YES! It's got all the elements you need to sit down and read this in a day. Seriously, that's what I did.

Happy reading!
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Set in the French Revolution era, this story takes us in an adventure where the main characters face a difficult situation, torn between what honor and loyalty is and how you can choose to do the right thing. 
The story is so trepidant and the tension is really good. The characters are great and are very well written.
The premise caught my attention from the moment I read it and I have enjoyed the story a lot.
As always Arlem has made a great work in the historical research and catching the attention of the reader page by page.
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I had the incredible honor of being part of @arlemhawks cover reveal last fall with Hannah! And now I finally get to talk about this book!

This story follows Maxence Etienne, the brother of Gilles from the first book Beyond the Lavender fields. We get to see Maxence's journey in the republique in War-torn France during the French Revolution. An unfortunate encounter with a young woman from Breton disrupts his entire world as they both escape captivity. 

This book writes as histfic but has a romance sub plot with all the forced proximity and grumpy/sunshine vibes we know and love. Armelle's bubbly sweet demeanor was delightful to read and I enjoyed the banter between Maxence. He definitely gets annoyed often😂

Arlem's book really shines with her history and makes me feel like I'm walking on French soil, seeing the characters first hand. I'm always captured by her facts and knowledge! 

Some thoughts:
I felt the middle parts of this book were quite slow. I could have used a more romance build or tension. I know it's not a romance but I think the forced proximity threw me off. Like this feels like a romance but it's not. That being said I would have loved it more with more romance but that's how I always feel😂
The ending was a shock to the emotions though I knew it was coming. I felt it pulled me from Maxence and Armelle's story a bit too much. 

Let me know what you think! I would love to discuss!

This book releases June 6th! Highly recommend reading Beyond the Lavender fields first.

Histfic lovers this book is for you!

Thank you to @shadowmountainpub and the author for my #gifted copy.

*Romance- kisses
*TW- kidnapping, trauma, death of loved ones


I was super sad about what happened at the end. I think a lot of readers are very upset by Marie's death but it was expected. We knew it was coming. Death in childbirth was also very common. People died of all sorts of things back then. At least in this way I'm hopeful Gilles will get a second chance at love. 

#historicalfiction #grumpysunshine #arlemhawks #junerelease #arcreads #arccopy #beyondthelavenderfields #alongabretonshore #shadowmountain #pubday
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(Make sure you read Beyond the Lavender Fields before jumping into this one. It’s a must IMO!)

Now to gush about this story… 
I adored it! I couldn’t put it down! 

Grumpy / sunshine… slow burn… enemies to friends to lovers… fake relationship… forced proximity (to the max)… adventure and danger… witty banter… character growth & redemption… amazing historical setting… 

The chemistry between Maxence & Armelle jumped off the page for me. I was rooting for them immediately. 

I felt all the things… I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I was on the edge of my seat. But at the same time, it was such a well paced book, that it was a relaxing read, (if that makes any sense). There’s so much rich history and action, but reads like a warm hug. I’m noticing that each time I read one of Arlem’s books. She’s a magician 🤣🙌

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for the chance to read an advance copy.
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I lost sleep to read this book. I couldn't help it. Arlem Hawks knows how to suck a reader in. 

The French Revolution is a time I have little knowledge of. Nepolean, I know a fairly good amount of, but the actual events of the revolution are not as well known to me. It has been fun to find myself wanting to go and look up the history that is talked about. 

I enjoyed the theme of finding ones self in Maxence and seeing Armelle so confident. Watching them go from enemies to friends and then fall in love was a soft transition. Readers can appreciate the hard conversations they have. This isn't a romanticized relationship. It has truth to a real relationship. Arguments are real and you don't always see eye to eye. But respect and care can always bring these two characters together. 

Arlem Hawks is going to make readers fall in love with these characters and their lives. We already love them and I can't wait to see more from her. Especially if that is Lina's story. 😉
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Arlem Hawks' "Along a Breton Shore" is a captivating historical romance set during the French Revolution. The novel masterfully combines elements of adventure, romance, and suspense, transporting readers to a tumultuous time in history. The story revolves around Maxence Étienne, a soldier torn between his loyalty to his country and his desire for love and freedom. When he saves Armelle Bernard from execution, their lives become intertwined as they navigate the treacherous landscape of a war-torn nation. Their journey is not only a fight for survival but also an exploration of love, forgiveness, and personal convictions. The book's engaging writing style, attention to historical detail, and compelling character development make it a truly immersive and unforgettable read.

"Along a Breton Shore" skillfully continues the story from the previous book while also standing strongly on its own. The protagonist, Maxence, undergoes a remarkable transformation as he questions his own beliefs and fights for his redemption. Armelle, the spirited and strong-willed young woman he saves, brings a delightful energy to the narrative and their gradual emotional connection adds depth and complexity to their relationship. The author's vivid descriptions and meticulous attention to historical detail bring the French Revolution to life, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the setting and time period. The novel strikes a perfect balance between romance, adventure, and suspense, keeping readers captivated until the very end. With its compelling characters, rich historical backdrop, and poignant love story, "Along a Breton Shore" is a must-read for anyone seeking an enchanting historical romance experience.
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This is a clean, historical romance with some heavier themes. Since it is set during the French Revolution, there is obviously war in the background. There is also other violence and death. None is descriptive but it isn't your happy-go-lucky romance. There is witty banter and humor though. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

The beginning of this book has pages of names and terms to help the reader. That was a little intimidating to me. I thought I was going to be so lost if I didn't know all of them but I felt like I'd be back in French class. To be honest, I skipped that part and did just fine.

I was a little nervous about this one and kept putting off reading it. Now I'm upset with myself for doing that! I wish I had read it closer to having read Beyond the Lavender Fields. That is the first book in this series, and while not absolutely necessary, I think it is good to read them in order. Many of the events that Maxence deals with throughout this story happened in Beyond the Lavender Fields.

Thank you to Shadow Moutain Publishing and Netgalley for the digital advanced copy. I am happy to leave my honest review.
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Along a Breton Shore is as good as the first book in this series! Maxence Etienne is dedicated to the army, but when he's ordered to end the short life of a pretty Breton girl, his conscience cannot agree to it. Saving her instead, he dooms himself to a life on the run from the cause he so greatly supported. Armelle is feisty, strong-willed, and yet sweet all at once. She has seen the pain the "cause for liberty" has cost herself and her family, and her opinion of that cause is not nearly as staunch as Maxence's convictions. Can they have a meeting of the minds?

I very much enjoyed seeing Maxence's character fully fleshed out in this story, since he and Gilles' relationship was strained in the first book. Armelle's sweet and sassy nature is a perfect foil for Maxence's grumpiness--and can I just say that I love grumpy/sunshine couples! As always, there is great dialogue, a realistic view of yet another side of the French Revolution, and a happily ever after. I will say that there is one part of this story that breaks my heart, but I can't give it away here! 

Rated PG for violence
--some violence, mild gore
--little to no language
--clean romance without explicit sexual content
--little to no torture

I received this ebook free from NetGalley. My opinions are my own and voluntarily given.
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If you enjoy historical fiction with elements of romance and intrigue, Along a Breton Shore definitely needs to be added to your TBR.  I have always been intrigued by the French Revolution and although I have studied it, I learned a LOT from this book.  It’s definitely a heavy read, but I honestly couldn’t put it down.  I have included some other thoughts below, but beware of spoilers!  4/5 stars



I almost wish I hadn’t read Beyond the Lavender Fields (Gilles’ book) before Along a Breton Shore.  The female MC of BTLF, Caroline, is revealed to have passed away between the events of the two books, which was really shocking to me.  It’s not something I expect in historical romance novels, although Arlem Hawks did tell readers that these books are more in the histfic genre.  If I had read Along a Breton Shore first, I would have viewed BTLF as more of a prequel and been prepared for the loss of a main character, which isn’t something I anticipated in Hawks’ books.  Caroline’s death was also revealed too close to the end of AABS in my opinion; I was too preoccupied with that revelation to remain as invested in the climax of Maxence and Armelle’s story.  On another note, I think the situation with Armelle’s dad and brother was built up a lot and then just kind of crested, which could have been intentional but it made the ending fall a little flat for me.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Absolutely beautiful, brilliant, stunning!
Loved every moment, all the hearts and stars from me!!

I stayed up till 2AM to finish this one because I couldn't put it down and I needed to know how things ended!! 

This is definitely my new favorite from Hawkes!

I loved:
•both lead characters 
•the grumpy-sunshine trope
•the forced proximity!!!! 
•fake relationship!!
•danger and peril and adventure!
•the French history!
•the slow-burn romance was 👌👌👌 so well done!
•witty banter
•the redemption arc
•Maxence and Armelle's chemistry and emotional connection was everything!

I tabbed so many moments in this book, ITS JUST SO AMAZING.
I'm not eloquent okay? Haha, I don't know how to even describe how amazing this historical, romantic, journey was, but it really, really was! It checked all the boxes for me!

NOTE - this could be read as a stand-alone HOWEVER, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST that you read Beyond the Lavender Fields FIRST!!!
There will be HUGE, MAJOR,  HEARTBREAKING spoilers if you read this book first! So there's your warning!!
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Another great romance set in the midst of the French Revolution. It’s the perfect enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine, and forced proximity. Armelle is a little rebellious and Maxence is meant to execute her. When he refuses and a fellow soldier is accidentally killed instead they have to flee. I love the journey that they go on and learn more about the other. Their character arcs are great and I loved watching Maxence grow and learn forgiveness. Their romance was beautiful along with the setting and the whole story.
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If this is too long and you're not going to read it in its entirety, please note that this is an ALL OF THE STARS kind of book!

'Nicole had told her her plan was idiocy. Oncle Yanick had told her. Heavens, she'd told herself. Someday she would listen to reason.'

I love a headstrong female protagonist who tends to jump in head first without looking. Armelle is just this kind of character and I knew right from the first few chapters she was going to bring a lot of fun energy to this book!

I loved the grumpy/sunshine, opposites attract trope with our two main characters. 

Having met Maxence in Beyond the Lavender Fields I was excited to get his story and see where he would end up. This book has major redemption vibes!! I also loved that this picked up where it left off in a major scene from book 1 and allowed the reader to jump right back in to a war torn France and all the suspense and worry that came along with it.

This book was historically rich, which was an added bonus to the reader. I felt completely immersed into the setting and time period. I loved that this book was a journey both physically for our main characters as well as emotionally. I loved the forced proximity. I loved the push and pull tension in the romance and I loved the added suspense. 

'With the world as it was, would they ever be rid of it, this feeling of always being just one step ahead of their demise?'

This book brought with it all of the feels in true Arlem Hawks fashion. I love that moment when I close the cover and immediately want to do better and be better. Another huge success from this author and one more reason why she will always be an auto-buy author for me!

Thanks to the author and publisher for the copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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