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I found The Courtier s Secret to be very entertaining and would highly recommend it for those who enjoy historical fiction I thought the characters were varied and interesting, even if I found some of them to be despicable I think the key for reading this book is to remember it is historical fiction and was meant to be entertaining, not a history lesson In the Acknowledgements, the author lists other books and resources for readers who want to learn about the time period. There are two sides to this story One is the exquisite detailing of what life was like inside the vast palace of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV No other book I have read has even come close to this level I was captivated by the subservient lives the nobility led in order to meet the demanding needs of Louis XIV It was mind boggling to hear how accepting these families were of the living situation inside the palace when they could otherwise live in comfort and splendor outside of th There are two sides to this story One is the exquisite detailing of what life was like inside the vast palace of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV No other book I have read has even come close to this level I was captivated by the subservient lives the nobility led in order to meet the demanding needs of Louis XIV It was mind boggling to hear how accepting these families were of the living situation inside the palace when they could otherwise live in comfort and splendor outside of the palace walls As always, whenever I am reminded about the dominance of men over women, I was mortified I enjoyed how Russo Morin gave us a spunky, determined young woman who was brave enough to challenge the status quo Jeanne reminds us that no matter what the situation is, individuals always have their own hopes and dreams The dual character of Jeanne and Jean Luc depict the complexities of all of us This story will appeal to anyone who enjoys a little romance, swash buckling adventures, subterfuge, hidden identities, honor and loyalty @Download Book ð The Courtier's Secret ë France,Louis XIV, the Sun King, is at the height of his power The court at Versailles is a paradise for privileged young women Jeanne Yvette Mas Du Bois is unlike most other courtiers Her thirst for knowledge often incurs her father s brutal wrath But her uncle encourages Jeanne s independence, secretly teaching her fencing in the palace s labyrinthine basement When two of the king s Musketeers are beset by criminals who are mere feet from Jeanne s fencing lesson, she intervenes, saving one of the Musketeers lives Hidden behind her mask, Jeanne is mistaken for a man As Jean Luc, Jeanne is admitted to an inner circle where she learns of an assassination plot against the Queen As Jean Luc, she is permitted to bring her intelligence and swordsmanship to bear And as Jean Luc, she is free to love the man of her choosingeven if she can never have him Now, with the Queen in jeopardy, and her own double life making her privy to the tangled intrigues at court, Jeanne is in a powerful yet increasingly perilous position Brimming with lush period detail and vivid, unforgettable characters, The Courtier s Secret takes readers into a fascinating, intriguing world of pageantry, adventure, betrayals, and secrets Exquisitely donefabulousunforgettable characters Marilyn Rondeau Compellingings vividly to life the constrained life of the noble Frenchwoman Allie Bates, author of Earthchild Reading Group Guide Inside Historical fiction with character internal conflict, yes Although, if I am forced to read the word miscreants onceor orbs I must stifle a scream I think the story was good Enough to keep me reading till midnight, but not much later I suppose The plot was the kind I like, even if a little cheesy and with a hint of deja vu ahem, Shakespeare , I think it s nice to read about Jeanne s exciting life But I found the writing style of the author, forgive me, quite dreadful She tried to give an ancient style by using big words such as dilemma, abject, behest, nondescript, etc But they didn t feel natural, and the sentence felt a bit like I think the story was good Enough to keep me reading till midnight, but not much later I suppose The plot was the kind I like, even if a little cheesy and with a hint of deja vu ahem, Shakespeare , I think it s nice to read about Jeanne s exciting life But I found the writing style of the author, forgive me, quite dreadful She tried to give an ancient style by using big words such as dilemma, abject, behest, nondescript, etc But they didn t feel natural, and the sentence felt a bit like an impostor in contrast to the other pretty modern phrases the characters and narrator used And some sentences had very little sense This mixture of old and new style and structure made it difficult to read because I was always thinking about how it was written, and how it could be improved, and I felt like I couldn t get into the story as much as I could have Also, being French, I found it, if I may say so, quite atrocious how she used french words all the time If she wanted the novel to be in French, she should have simply written it in that language I mean, what is the point of having your characters say oui all the time instead of yes and ma ch re , magnifique , mon ami , and then finish the sentence in english It just didn t sound natural In addition to the artificiality the use of the French brought, I must point out the number of mistakes the author made in using it For example, LE Galerie des Glaces The characters at one point, when at Jeanne s uncle s place, meet Henri, when they want him to leave, they say Bonjour I m guessing they meant good day, goodbye, but may I remind you that Bonjour means Hello So they were bidding goodbye by saying hello This was enough to make me put the book down for quite some time And many other mistakes I won t point out so I won t spoil the book for you Now about the plot Yes it is about a girl disguising herself as a guy to havefreedom Cheesy Deja vu Ultra romantic Pretty pathetic when you think about the amount of novels with the same plot line But who cares That s why I chose the book, I love these silly romantic stories BUT, I think the writing and the drive of the plot was a failure I m sure there are many better romantic stories out there I mean, Henri falls in love with Jeanne in half an hour That she loves him, ok, she got to know him as a guy But Henri In one interview, that s it, he thinks she s his soul mate and would love it for her to meet his mother And we witnessed the conversation, it was everything but enchanting, all we could see was Jeanne becoming utterly girly, when until now she was kind of a tomboy She changes in five seconds I found it a bit disappointing I thought it would take time for their love to develop, that s the greatest part of romantic stories in my opinion, how and when the couple fall in love It s also the hardest thing to render I think, cos it s all about the development of emotions But it was completely ellipsed in this novel, and when Henri and Jeanne were together, Jeanne just seemed to lose all her toughness And I guess that s normal since the author kept on reminding us that she was very feminine with him with all the I wonder what s happening to me Well, anyways, it was a good story, and I recommend it only if you have nothing better to read, and you haven t found a better story If you don t mind HOW the book is written, then really, this romantic story is for you, cos, well, the story is just as good as any other I, for my part, regret having spent 7 on this book, and I wish I d found another, better book Good ReadYou may think four stars harsh I don t normally read fiction I was stuck in bed for a day, so I chose to read this I loved the researched historical detail I enjoyed the evocative descriptions of life as a courtier the best I have ever read warts all The characters were good and the main characters relatable The last chapter, not so much, there was an opening there for a sequel or an unusual ending It was a little unsatisfying, when the rest of the book had been like a love Good ReadYou may think four stars harsh I don t normally read fiction I was stuck in bed for a day, so I chose to read this I loved the researched historical detail I enjoyed the evocative descriptions of life as a courtier the best I have ever read warts all The characters were good and the main characters relatable The last chapter, not so much, there was an opening there for a sequel or an unusual ending It was a little unsatisfying, when the rest of the book had been like a lovely box of chocolates All in all, a good read for those interested in the era, historical fiction, and a good love story Seventeen year old Jeanne du Bois returns from the convent where she s been schooled the last seven years and joins her family at Versailles Much to her father s disapproval Jeanne is too independent and unladylike, and unbeknownst to him she resumes fencing lessons with her uncle Jules After one of these lessons, Jules and Jeanne who is dressed in men s clothes , come across two of the King s Musketeers under attack and save the day when they join in the battle Not willing to reveal her ide Seventeen year old Jeanne du Bois returns from the convent where she s been schooled the last seven years and joins her family at Versailles Much to her father s disapproval Jeanne is too independent and unladylike, and unbeknownst to him she resumes fencing lessons with her uncle Jules After one of these lessons, Jules and Jeanne who is dressed in men s clothes , come across two of the King s Musketeers under attack and save the day when they join in the battle Not willing to reveal her identity as a women Jeanne is introduced as Jean Luc and as she wishes to join the Musketeers later she convinces her uncle to help her dress as a man As Jeanne s abusive father plots to marry her off to an odious Baron, she finds herself drawn to Henri, one of the Musketeers who during a fete at Versailles meets Jeanne and he is instantly smitten A plot to kill the Queen is revealed and Jeanne Jean finds both identities in the thick of things while she tries to balance the two and avoid being exposed So why am I giving this one only two stars For starters, Jeanne is just way over the top in her independence let alone the ditzy way she came across in the first two chapters argh, those curls always coming lose from her coiffure and I was beginning to think I was in for Gidget does Versailles I threw the book across the room at Chapter two, but picked it up again and things did improve Jeanne s ditzyness was toned down a bit, but as hard as the author tried to keep things realistic they just didn t always ring true Hiding her dress and under things underneath the stinking privy cover and they didn t pick up any odor from it She s able to get her men s boots off by herself, let alone the dress itself and do her hair just in time to run to chapel Then there was the garden party where she he had to run and change clothes at least once and run back to present her him back again at the party again she can get those big old boots off and on all by herself Last complaint and again I appreciate the author taking the time and effort to pack plenty of history in her romance and with a nod to M Dumas, p re , but it was all just a tad bit too heavy handed and I was beginning to feel like I was being clubbed over the head with it In the end, it was a reasonably entertaining piece of fluff, nice to have a romance set somewhere else besides the Regency period but I do want to warn potential readers, according to the author s notes at the end she wrote this as a historical novel and not a romance So, despite appearances and the impression the cover gives, this is not a bouncy bodice ripping novel packed with sex and I suspect serious romance readers will be sorely disappointed, as will serious historical fiction readers for those I d recommend just sticking with Dumas and read his Musketeer series This was a very quick, fluffy read It s a familiar storyline, one that we ve all read and seen before, where a young woman dresses up as a man to access something denied to her as a woman In this case it s helping the Musketeers And, like other familiar story lines, she falls in love with one of the men who sees her in disguise There are other common character tropes in this novel She is a sympathetic but unique character with an abusive upbringing and callous father, she has one sassy frie This was a very quick, fluffy read It s a familiar storyline, one that we ve all read and seen before, where a young woman dresses up as a man to access something denied to her as a woman In this case it s helping the Musketeers And, like other familiar story lines, she falls in love with one of the men who sees her in disguise There are other common character tropes in this novel She is a sympathetic but unique character with an abusive upbringing and callous father, she has one sassy friend and one angelic friend I think these common elements add to the reason why it was an easy but engaging read.I have only two complaints The first is that the prose is very purple Eyes are commonly referred to as orbs , and breasts translucent mounds , and similar descriptions The second is from a historical standpoint, Morin attributes the phrase Let them eat cake to Queen Marie Terese, wife of Louis XIV, but it has never been definitely proven who has said it, or if it was ever even true Jean Jacques Rousseau told this story in his autobiography and only said it was said by a great princess , not naming who Antonia Fraser claims it was said by Marie Terese uses Louis XVIII s memoirs as proof They were published in 1830, after his death I read the first version of this book, but after reading this version, I completely understand why the author chose to rewrite So much better And the new endingsuperbly tissue worthy Great historical fiction.As a lover of all things French, this book hit so many marks for me I love a great heroine If you liked the show Versailles, you will love this book