13 Jan 2012

Gastien Parts one and two - Double review by Jenny Needham

The cost of the dream by Caddy Rowland

About the book:

Stunningly handsome Gastien has two dreams that burn relentlessly inside of him. First, he wants to become a great artist. Nineteenth century France is a hotbed of new ideas in art; unfortunately, naïve young men, hoping to achieve impossible dreams, die in the gutters of Paris every day.
Gastien also wants to become a great lover. That will not be so difficult. So far, nineteenth century women can only dream of a man who cares if he actually satisfies them!
He has no training, no money, and no connections. And, he is a virgin…so far.
What does he have? Raw, natural talent, a willingness to learn, and a face and body no woman will be able to resist. He vows to stop at nothing to make his dreams come true.
Gastien Beauchamp, Paris is yours for the taking.
Sometimes, the "impossible" is possible. But the cost can be extremely high.

My Review:

First I will say this is definitely a book for adult readers, with lots to keep the adult reader entertained with explicit sex scenes, violence and adult topics.
The character of Gastien in this book is intriguing, and with him being very different from the rest of his family, causing many problems as he is growing up. Following Gastien through his life you find that as you learn more about his character you grow to love and live the life that he does. The life lessons learned as you follow Gastien though all of his troubles are well wrote and believable.
The background story in this book is amazing and really brings to life Gastien’s life as he grew up in France in the 19th century when everything is very different to living life today in France. I found that the use of French terms was an amazing asset and well thought out by the author, really bringing you into the story, as well as adding that little extra, and I found that this really did make the book more enjoyable.
The author has helpfully put a full glossary at the front of the book with all the French terms and what they mean, as well as added the translation in the book at the first point it is used, so I would recommend reading this book even if the French within it would normally put you off it is definitely worth reading.
I found that I was absorbed into this book from the very first chapter, loving and feeling along with the characters. It is a testament to the author that the storyline flows so well, with well placed and in depth sex scenes that are not for the faint hearted. There are also many other adult topics that are covered within this book that are well wrote and really compelling to read. In all I really enjoyed the flow and story within this book following along with the life lessons learned. I will be heading over to the next instalment of this book very soon to find out what else life has in store for Gastien as he goes through his life.

From dream to destiny by Caddy Rowland
About the book:

I am Gastien Beauchamp, artist and lover. Any Frenchman would tell you that a peasant could never own property in nineteenth century France. Yet here I am, in my very own studio.
The personal cost was horrendous. I barely survived the choices I made, and my sanity was pushed to its limits.
Still, I finally now have security, peace, and freedom. For the rest of my life I can spend time “making love to the colour”, making love to beautiful women, and enjoying the wild nightlife of bohemian Montmartre. What more could a man need or want?
Then, one night, I see her. One look at Sophie, and my heart wants to betray me! I try to tell myself that I know better. Who needs love, anyway? I am already married-to my art!
No woman would ever understand and accept my lifestyle; nor am I about to give that lifestyle up! Not when I paid so dearly for it. Besides, I am too badly damaged to ever open up my heart…

My Review:

This book definitely continues on from the first book in the series.
Gastien continues to grow into an adult, with many challenges being presented both personally and in his art work. I love that Gastien continues to grow making him such a loveable character that at time you empathize with him, but at others you detest him just as much.
The author continues with the amazing story of Gastien being an artist in 19th century France, bringing to life the struggles that artist's faced when they started out. I found that I was even more captivated by Gastien and all the other characters in this book than I was in the first. I was so engrossed in everything going on that I read the whole book in a day, laughing, crying and feeling compassion for all of the characters especially Gastien himself. I must admit throughout this whole book I found that I experienced every emotion there was and I was emotionally drained by the end, but emotionally drained in a good way.
Again the author helpfully gave a glossary at the front of the book with all the French translations to both words used in the first book as well as new words and phrases used within this book. She managed to integrate both languages so well that most of the time you did not notice that both French and English were being used.
I would definitely love to continue on in this series and read book three, in order to find out how everything pans out for the rest of the characters. Although I can’t giveaway why, as I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for those adults out there that want to discover Gastien and his travels through 18th Century France.

Check out Jenny's blog Madsheep reading

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