AUTHOR: Rachel L. Demeter
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2014
GENRE: Historical Romance/Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Black Lyon Publishing
To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.
On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.
But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.
Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.
Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.
Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.
Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
CONNECT WITH RACHEL
The heat of their bodies mingled as one. With each breath, Aleksender drank in the sweet essence of his beloved ward. His mind swam with unorthodox visions and desires. He inclined his head, lost to the power of her nearness, entranced by everything that was Sofia.
“Alek, my Alek …”
Each word infused Aleksender with a delicious and undeniable warmth. Intoxicated by roses and wintertime, he found it difficult to speak, difficult to think. Breathless, he swallowed and met the haunting depths of her eyes.
“Please,” she dreamily murmured, “I want you to kiss me again…”
Rue de la Paix was packed to its limits. The square was a perfect viewing spot for such destruction. The Vendôme Column was front and center, Napoleon’s lifeless stone features etched with blissful oblivion. Ladies hung out of their balconies and chattered amongst themselves. Days earlier, they’d coated the windows with paper and paste to help numb the shattering blow to come.
Down in the street below, newspaper and pastry vendors rolled through the congestion, handing out goods as if they were party favors. A multitude of red flags lined the inside of the square, branding Place Vendôme as a place of liberty and freedom.
The thunder of drums shook the ground. National Guardsmen from various battalions throughout the city had come together for this exceptional occasion. They stood at the foot of the column, passing cigars back and forth as the last preparations were carried out. Workmen drove wedges into the column’s sawed crevice, loosening the incalculable weight from the base.
Members of the Commune arrived at the scene in heroic fashion. Propped on horseback, the men stationed themselves in a single-file line at the front of Rue de la Paix’s alley.
It was Christophe Cleef who gave the signal.
A number of marching bands issued the drum roll. In the midst of the excitement, a rather courageous man shoved through the crowd. He came beside Christophe and yelled over the music and jeers. “Can’t you leave it alone?” His plea was lost to the din. The horse gave an irritated whinny as the man tugged at its hanging bridle.
Christophe narrowed his eyes and stared down at a face that wasn’t a day under sixty. “What are you doing? Out of the way! Guards!”
“The column—can’t you leave it alone?” he repeated, a knot of desperation in his voice. “It has cost us all so much.”
Christophe’s broad shoulders shook with laughter. “Yes—yes, it has, indeed. It has cost millions of lives. Now step aside if you care to keep your head.” Defeated, the man hung his face and did as commanded, vanishing back into the crowd.
Christophe squinted against the blaring sunrays. On all sides of the monument, ropes were held by over seventy sailors. Muscles strained beneath the afternoon light as the greatest match of tug-of-war in the history of the world took place. As calm and as sure as ever, Napoleon gave a slight sway and glanced down at his executioners.
The drums reached their crescendo and faded into a patriotic melody. Minutes later, applause erupted as the column gave way and crumbled at its seams.
The Commune struggled to chasten their horses as Napoleon Bonaparte met his inevitable doom. He crashed down, smashing the cobblestones into rubble—lying before his people in a miserable wreck. In the force of his fall, an arm was amputated and his head cleanly severed from his body.
Women spat upon the heap of stone that once was Napoleon’s face and cried nasty obscenities.
In a single Monday afternoon, the Commune had sealed Paris’s fate. And now the entire world was crashing down.
Christophe surveyed the riot and escalating madness. His heart triumphed. It was the birth of a new revolution.
Caught in the excitement and flushed with power, he joined in the chanted cry: “Vive la Commune! Vive la République! Vive la Résistance! Death to the Empire!”
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