The Last Will and Testament of Daphne Le Marche by Kate Forster

Hello again, and good evening! Today I have one more post for you, and it is a review of “The Last Will and Testament of Daphne Le Marche” by Kate Forster – as a part of the blog tour. And guys – believe me – you don’t want to miss this book! It’s perfect! It blends everything that you can look for in a great, thrilling story and even more – make sure that you buy it!

The Last Will and Testament of Daphne Le Marche by Kate Forster

 

31144714Publisher: Mira

Publishing Date: 8th September 2016

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Paris, 1956. Eighteen year old Daphné may be from a tiny French village, but she knows she’s destined for more. Stepping off a bus into bustling Paris with a suitcase full of her home-made beauty products, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to claim her stake in the world.

London, 2016. Scandalous love affairs and an iconic cosmetics brand have kept Daphné Le Marche in spotlight – but her darkest secrets have never come to light. Now, in her London penthouse, enveloped in her rich signature scent, the Grande Dame of glamour has died.

But not even those closest to her could have been prepared for what came next.

The Last Will and Testament of Daphné Le Marche is a sweeping story of heartbreak, scandal and the importance of keeping it in all the family…

 

Rating: 5/5

“The Last Will and Testament of Daphne le Marche” is only my second book by Kate Forster – I’ve read and absolutely adored her “The Perfect Retreat”. However, it is already some time ago that I’ve read this book so I went into her new release like I usually go for debut novels – without expectations but with great hopes. And let me tell you all, guys, that the book has everything that I am looking for in books and I loved every single page of it – it was a great read!

The story moves between the present and the past, but it is done in a very seamless, effortless way, and the more we got into the past, the more secrets were coming to the light – secrets that were able to destroy the whole family unless the family was strong enough to face the problems and the hidden sceletons. I loved both the past, and the present, it was incredibly great to see what happened and what made Daphne Le Marche the woman she became. The way the story alternated between Daphne’s past life and the present worked brilliantly for this story.

Kate Forster has created some unforgettable characters in this story, characters that you loved or loved to hate and I truly had moments that I wanted to not only slap Robert, but perhaps strangle him. There were plenty of characters in the book but there was not a single moment that I felt confused or didn’t know who is who. So we have Daphne, grandmother and mother, the head of the family; we have her two sons, Robert and Henri, both married and/or divorced, so there were also their wives, Matilde and Elisabeth, and their children Camille (who’s dead), Celeste and Sibylla – Billie. Many of them but really, I felt immediately at home in their company. And yes, many of them, so there were many secrets and problems among them, many understatements and inaccuracies. The characters were so different to each other, they had so different personalities and led totally different lives and it was absolutely thrilling to see how they are brought together again and what happened next.
Daphne was such a wise woman and it broke my heart more than once seeing what she experienced in her life, but also I wanted to cheer her on and present her with a standing ovation seeing how she went from nothing to being a woman with a cosmetic empire. Her granddaughters proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The family become disjointed throughout the years and Daphne wanted to bring them together again – though it was not so easy! Celeste is the daughter of Robert and she is probably the one who underwent the biggest transformation in the story – at the beginning, to say that she was a bit unlikeable, would be an understatement, but I absolutely loved how she has changed. Billie lives in Australia, works in the lab and she adores her life, so moving to London because of her grandmother’s will is not in her to – do list. However, Billie was not the one to give up easily, and I liked her from the very beginning, her being so strong and her standing firmly on her two feet. There couldn’t be more difference between those two girls, suddenly thrown together into the family business, but it added so much spice to the story and made it even more colourful and not so predictable! You couldn’t be sure if the girls go for the challenge in Daphne’s will, and you couldn’t be sure of the things running smoothly for them – the author has took care and added a twist and turn here and there and a friction of tension.

This book is brilliantly written, it just draws you in and I didn’t want to put it down for a single moment, so immersed was I in the characters’ lives, all the twists, turns and curveballs. It was an engaging story of heartbreak, secrets, scandals and family relationships. There was much more depth and darkness to it than I expected but it only made the reading much more thrilling and interesting to me. The author couldn’t have make my day in a better way as with this perfect blend of history, scandals, glamour, intrigue and wonderful romances. A story about challenges and overcoming problems and showing that at the end of the day it is a family that counts. The book has a very solid plot and it’s very complex, it introduces us to characters full of flaws, but characters that are incredibly vivid, colourful and leading interesting lives. If you are in a need of a brilliant family saga, then do not hesitate, do not look further and treat yourself to “The Last Will and Testament of Daphne Le Marche” – I guarantee you are for a few hours of pure joy.

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Luxe by Ashley Antoinette – Extract

Hi guys, and happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend – mine was really, really quiet but sometimes it’s not bad, right?

So, today I have an extract from “Luxe” by Ashley Antoinette for you. “Luxe” is an addictive and incredibly well-written urban romance, and it’s also pretty feisty and very fierce :

 

Bleu Montclair knew as a young girl that she would one day escape the hard, unrelenting 51tl1eyvg2lstreets of Flint, Michigan, and when her desperate prayers are answered in the form of a scholarship to UCLA, she knows she’s struck gold. But soon after she arrives there, all her beautiful dreams begin to fall apart.

Endless temptations abound in the form of cars, clothes, booze and drugs, and Bleu cannot keep up. When her roommate gives her the opportunity to make a lot of money fast, Bleu goes all in – and heads straight down a path of violence and addiction that only her newest protector, Iman, can save her from.

Iman is used to the fast, unpredictable, high-rolling life, and it’s always been enough . . . until he meets Bleu. He finally has something and someone to care for that means more to him than all the money and power he could ever command.

Love in the streets is never easy . . . and there is more than one way to get hurt.

EXTRACT

Beep … beep … beep.

The sounds roused Bleu from the darkest sleep she had ever succumbed to. It was as if she were walking out of a thick fog. She had been in limbo, stuck between life and death. Waking up was no easy feat. Her eyes felt as if they were sewn closed as she tried her hardest to open them. When they finally fluttered open, she saw flashes of the world around her. Flowers and balloons surrounded her. She silently wondered who had sent them all. Not many people paid attention to her on an ordinary day. Surely these arrangements weren’t meant for her. She felt the wetness of tears slide down the sides of her cheeks as she willed her eyes to stay open. Suddenly terror filled her. Almost instantly flashbacks of the shooting ran through her mind. BOOM!

She would never forget the sound of that gun blasting off in her ear. She was swallowed up by the darkness in the room. The only light that peeked in shone through the vertical blinds, which had been drawn closed. The sounds and smells around her told her that she was in the hospital, and as her eyes darted around the room, they fell upon the crumpled body that was sprawled awkwardly in the chair across from her. Noah, she thought, immediately recognizing her sleeping friend. He had been by her side since grade school. Dealing with a drunk for a father, a disappearing mother, and friends who changed colors like traffic lights, Noah was the only constant in her life. She opened her chapped lips to call his name but immediately felt as if she were choking on her own tongue. She gasped for air as she struggled to catch her breath. The monitors she was hooked to wailed in alarm as her heart rate spiked from her panic, and a nurse came rushing into the room, waking Noah up with the commotion.

“What’s happening?” he asked as he rushed to Bleu’s side.

Bleu’s eyes were wide with fear as her hands reached for the tube that extended from her neck.

“Bleu,” the nurse spoke, getting her attention. “You can’t speak until I remove the trach. The doctors had to insert one because you were unable to breathe on your own. I need you to calm down, okay?”

Bleu felt Noah grab her hand and hold on to her tightly and then a pinch to her arm caused everything to slow down.

No, no, no, I don’t want to go back to sleep, she thought as she watched the nurse slide the needle out of her arm. No, no … her mental objections were in vain. Within seconds it was lights-out again.