In the erotic, USA Today-bestselling tour de force, The Lover, readers met not only brooding, passionate Michel des Anges, but his lifelong friend -- the mysterious Gabriel, a man with a past as dark as the London night. Now, renowned author Robin Schone explores one of her most talked-about characters in a novel that reveals the blackest secrets ...
In the erotic, USA Today-bestselling tour de force, The Lover, readers met not only brooding, passionate Michel des Anges, but his lifelong friend -- the mysterious Gabriel, a man with a past as dark as the London night. Now, renowned author Robin Schone explores one of her most talked-about characters in a novel that reveals the blackest secrets of a man's soul. . .and the explosive heart of a woman's desire. Destitute and terrorized by a nameless pursuer, thirty-four-year-old Victoria Childers has only one thing of value left -- her innocence. Its price will buy her safety. But Gabriel, the dangerously beautiful man who purchases her, doesn't want her virginity -- he wants the man who stalks her. Trapped together in a house where every desire can be fulfilled, Victoria and Gabriel are plunged into a deadly game of passion and pursuit, where the greatest threat is carnal hunger and the only rule is survival.
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Robin Schone has managed to take an ugly, turn of the century plot line - death, destitution, need, and rape of the psyche - and create an intimate, beautiful book. Her characters, though harshly wounded, are strong, resilient and determined although like all of us, they try hiding their secrets and basic needs behind a facade of aloof independence. Victoria, born a child of privilege yet disdained by a mysogamist father, leaves her home to become a governess, a precarious job choice that ultimately makes her a pawn in a devious game played by an unknown man to assuage his envy and hatred. Manipulated by events, Victoria finds herself starving on the streets, selling her few belongings, her pride leaving her only one final thing of value - her virginity. Manipulated but thinking it her own decision, she decides to auction her virginity in the House of Gabriel, a well known 'tavern' that offers every known carnal pleasure. Gabriel, known as a blond untouchable angel, was born in poverty and despair and with Michael, his darkly beautiful childhood friend, was trained as a prostitute from age 13, Michael to serve women while Gabriel served men. Both were highly successful until Gabriel was tricked, chained, abused and humiliated by two men. In the subsequent fourteen years, Gabriel has not touched a woman, unable to admit a need for love or that he is worthy of it, he concentrates all his efforts and wealth from his "House" to discovering those men and destroying them before they can further destroyed him. While suspecting that his abusers mean Victoria to be the weapon that will destroy him, he 'buys' her because he remembers the feel of hunger he sees in her eyes. Dark and highly erotic, "Gabriel's Woman" is a story about hope and trust, about loyalty and the family of other wounded souls who've found sanctuary and worth in the House of Gabriel. It is a story about compassion, commitment and faithfulness, about retribution and redemption. It is a story about love and the mental and emotional price of love, as well as an unusual love story. This was the first book I read by Ms. Schone, but I recommend it highly to anyone like me who wants a solid story line, well developed characters, a few unexpected plot twists, and good strong writing. Not only do I consider it a satisfying 'keeper' to be read often, but I am now searching for more of her offerings.
Mar 21, 2007
Powerful! Rivetting! Erotic!
This book is a continuation of The Lover. (read my review). It is not a romance novel. Ms. Schone created two characters that are both powerful, sensual and erotic. Gabriel's and Michael's story (The Lover) is one of murder, intrugue, destitution and love. The main story is almost the secondary story since I found myself really wanting to read more about Gabriel and Michael. Both men were found as boys on the streets of France and rescued by a professional madam. She trained Michael to please women and Gabriel to please men. They now own their own brothels in England. Gabriel is such a tortured soul, especially now; since his services were purchased by a woman! His story told by flashbacks is nothing short of rivetting and the ending is the most powerful ending I have read in a long time. The deep unspoken love these men have for each other is their strength and their weakness. I was particularly impressed by Ms. Schone's minimal use of dialogue to convey feelings which had a huge impact as I was reading. This story is a breath of fresh air for someone looking for love, lust, murder, rape,etc. I wish I could give it more stars!
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