Member Reviews

I loved Arlem Hawk's first novel set in France and this story was just as wonderful! Couldn't put it down. A beautiful love story with a historic setting. Another perfect addition to the Proper Ronance series!!

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed my experience reading Beyond the Lavender Fields and my reading of Along A Breton Shore carried a lot of that enjoyment as well.

I particularly enjoyed that Breton Shores felt a bit faster paced than Lavender Fields and I also knew the setting even better in book two.

I did however connect a bit more with Gilles in Lavender Fields than I did with Maxence but I still enjoyed Maxence's character arc and his story with Armelle.

My lower rating comes from the plot twist near the end of the book. It tainted some spoilery things that really ruined the reading experience of both books for me. I do think many people will love these books still and this won't ruin things for them but it was too much for me to love these books as much as I wanted to.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Arlem Hawks has done it again. This is the third book by her that I've read, and this one is just as emotionally gripping for me. If you like historical fiction that makes you feel what the characters feel, check this one out.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a compelling story of friendship, love and survival! I was drawn into this story and couldn't wait to see what happened next!

I received an ARC through Netgalley and all opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Read if you like: French Revolution history, forced proximity, opposites attract.
While this isn't necessarily part of a series, you might want to read the first book, Beyond the Lavender Fields first.
Maxence is a revolutionary soldier who is ordered to execute a woman. When he lets her go instead, Armelle breaks him out of prison and the two begin a journey together.
I loved this book so much. The development of Max and Armelle's relationship was superbly done and I loved the French Revolution setting. I couldn't stop reading and needed to know how their story ended.

Was this review helpful?

I thought this was a good book. I found it interesting to learn more about France at this time in history since I really didn’t know much about it. I also liked seeing the characters grow and deciding to do what was right even at the risk of their own life. I also loved watching the romance develop between the main characters. I liked that they started out as enemies and slowly grew into more as they came to know each other better. I though this was a well written story.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this historical romance set in France. I wondered who would finally tame Maxence and Armelle was just that strong willed French woman. The story takes place a few years after Beyond the Lavender Fields and I loved the continuation of the story and getting a glimpse into what life would have been like during the French Revolution. It is definitely not an ideal scene but Armelle and Maxence are able to find love despite all the trials they must go through during their journey which includes a fake marriage and forced proximity. I would definitely recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?

This is my kind of historical romance. Closed door with a lot of build up and excellent pacing. The characters were ones I loved and cheered for. The historical setting felt true and accurate. I would love to read more books like this! Looking forward to Arlem Hawks’ next book.

Was this review helpful?

Maxence and Armelle are delightful! I just loved their unique story. Lots of twists and turns to keep you reading during this grand adventure.

Was this review helpful?

Maxence Étienne is haunted. He is haunted by war, by grief, by loneliness. Believing he caused his best friend his life, Max promised himself he would never take another life. But what is he supposed to do when he is commanded to execute an innocent women?

Armelle Bernard has a chance to bring her family back together. She is determined to, nothing could stop her. But when she is at the other end of a musket, fear she hadn’t known before began to settle in.

Both on the run, every move they make could cost them their lives. How are they supposed to find a happy life together while in the middle of the most danger their lives have ever been in?

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again and I’ll say it every time I read one of her stories: Arlem Hawks puts her heart and soul into these characters, their story and the ground they walk on.

I am currently sitting in the airport after 10 hours on a plane coming back from Europe where I got to see the places Maxence, Armelle and Gilles have been. Never before have I been able to see my favorite characters come to life to this extent. It was breathtaking.

The history Arlem knows and is able to put into a short few hundred pages is astounding. Not to mention a few hundred pages and it’s all comprehendible, haha!

Do yourself a favor and read this book!! Your life will not be complete until you do.
Though it can be read as a stand-alone, I would highly, highly recommend reading the first book in the series. Beyond the Lavender Fields is such a beautiful story as well!!

Happy release day, my friend! Thank you for taking the risks that made this story into the beautiful book it is.

Congratulations, you deserve every high praise there is and more!

Was this review helpful?

In the aftermath of the French revolution, soldier Maxence Étienne faces a moral dilemma when ordered to execute young rebel Armelle Bernard. Unable to carry out the task, he sets her free, leading them both to become fugitives of the new republic. As they navigate their differences and search for peace, a bond forms between them, and they must find trust amidst the chaos to achieve true freedom.

This sequel to Beyond the Lavender Fields continues the story of the Étienne brothers. In the previous book, they parted in anger and disappointed with each other. Now two years later, Maxence is struggling with his decision to fight for liberty. The country has not unified or embraced the changes revolution has brought. He is disillusioned with everything that happens, and impulsively risks everything to save an impertinent girl from death. Armelle despises the changes that have come to her country, and when her actions lead to her life being in danger, she becomes a fugitive.

The pair make an unlikely duo, traveling across the country to reach safety. Slowly, they begin to learn about each other and trust each other. I appreciated that they didn't fall in love immediately.

It is a well-paced and well-researched book. I would recommend this to readers looking for a sweet, historical romance.

Was this review helpful?

Once again, Arlem Hawks has ruined me for other books. This book has everything I want in a historical fiction novel. It is filled with historical details that dropped me right into revolutionary France and thirsty to learn more about this time period. I love how the author shows the humanity in each political group and had me sympathizing with the whole country. The love story and character arcs were so satisfying. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Was this review helpful?

I liked the story but struggled a bit with all the French vocabulary. The story is well written and compelling.

Was this review helpful?

I loved Hawk’s first novel in this series so much that I just had to find out what happens in her second one. I was not disappointed! Along a Breton Shore is all about Maxence Éttiene and Armelle Bernard and their chance meeting that changes the rest of their lives. Maxence still serves the Republic of France, but he’s experienced so much death that he is no longer the same naive and bold soldier as before. Armelle lost her father to this revolution and decides to confront the republic priest who turned her father in. When chaos ensues, she is ordered to be executed and Maxence is ordered to do it. What an intense moment! He can’t force himself to kill her, thank goodness, and they are forced to run as fugitives. I loved how they came to know and understand each other better even coming from such opposite sides in this new republic. The historical setting was so well represented with the way the revolution was so divisive rather than bringing the unity and equality that was preached. Maxence and Armelle had so much depth; I really felt compassion and an investment in the outcome of their story. All in all, this was such a gorgeous redemption and romance and freedom story. I absolutely loved reading it!

Was this review helpful?

This is not a romcom. Obviously. It’s a historical fiction about the French Revolution. Something that my knowledge is limited to high school, which was not last year. So I got totally immersed. I got this from NetGalley and these are my thoughts.

Maxence was such the tortured hero and I really wanted him to find peace. Armelle loved well and was optimistic about life even though France was in turmoil. So I guess a grumpy sunshine trope, but not in a romcom sense? You can read the blurb for the summary, but basically Max can’t do what he is commanded to do so the two get thrown in a super long quest for freedom.

This is a series. And a controversial one. But I haven’t read the other book so cannot personally comment on that dialogue. As a stand alone book I really enjoyed it. I listened to the audio also and thank goodness because French words sound completely different in my head. 😂 The narrator is my favorite so she makes everything sound amazing and natural.

It’s filled with so much sadness and heartache, which is on pointe for that time. There are little bits of sunshine and I thought @arlemhawks did a great job narrating the character’s challenges and leading Max to redemption and love.

It’s an adventure from the very first page. See if Max’s heart can be softened or if it will continue to rage.

Was this review helpful?

This was a slow burn romance, with some forced proximity, that had plenty of action and some tense moments. I enjoyed watching Armelle and Maxence go from enemies, to friends, and finally, to lovers, while learning to trust each other.

I struggled to connect to both of the main characters. Armelle’s choices in the beginning of the book seemed juvenile to me. She took some unnecessary risks and was naive considering the circumstances. On the other hand, Maxence had the most to learn, and I went from not liking him to rooting for him by the end.

Max’s growth was one of the strengths of this book. His acknowledgment of the role he played in his family relationships, and his desire to change what he could, added depth to his character. It made the final scenes in the book more poignant.

I started this book knowing that the ending would have a twist that many people didn’t like. I was prepared to feel the same way. While I was sad about the twist, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this story.

Was this review helpful?

Talented author Arlem Hawks has written another fascinating historical fiction book set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. I enjoyed learning more about this time period, although it was tragic and heart-breaking. I felt the research was well-done and the characters were interesting. Although this story can be read alone, you might want to read her book Beyond the Lavender Fields first, since Along a Breton Shore continues the tale.

The story is written well although there were a few slow spots for me. There were enough twists and turns, though, to keep me reading and wanting to know what happens to Armelle and Maxence. With lots of suspense, history, and a dash of romance, this book is sure to satisfy historical fiction lovers.

The glossary of French words and pronunciation guide were very helpful, although the e-copy version was difficult to go back and refer to when I needed to check on a word. It would definitely help to have a print copy. The author’s notes at the end were also a great addition and very interesting.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book! It was fascinating to learn more about the French during the revolution.
This was obviously a very well researched book- it had so many historical bits in it but enough fiction and romance so I didn’t feel like I was getting a boring history lesson.
This book had romance but it wasn’t the “fluff” that most romances are. It had lots of suspense and realistic situations. The characters were well rounded and deep- not empty headed aristocrats.
Once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down!

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book so much! It’s such a beautiful story and pulls at all the emotions. I loved all the tension and banter and how real their relationship felt! It definitely rips your heart out at times but was so worth it and I loved it so much!!

Content: death due to war, injury
Romance: kisses

Was this review helpful?

I love books rich with historical details and Arlem’s books are just that. Set in the backdrop of the French Revolution, Armelle and Maxence’s story is full of adventure and peril.

After a disastrous first encounter, Armelle and Max’s start a dangerous journey across France. I loved their grumpy sunshine attitudes. Armelle had great wit and the banter was excellent. They faced many obstacles on their journey. I loved how they were forced to really depend on each other with all the dangerous situations they faced. I really enjoyed the slow burn romance.

I was really upset with the death of Caroline near the end. I thought it was glossed over and I would have like more attention brought to it. I guess I just needed more time to mourn her death.

Was this review helpful?