Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Freedom:The Rake and the Recluse: Part One
by Jenn LeBlanc
Publisher: Iris Photo
Release date: December 20, 2011
Source: Review copy from Author

This is PART ONE of The Rake And The Recluse, it has been completely re edited with new scenes and new images and is being released as it was originally intended, as a six part serial novel. This is NOT a series it is a SERIAL, that means it has to be read in order.

Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.
How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.

Freedom is part one in this re-released version of The Rake and the Recluse. This first part gives us an introduction to Francine Larrabee an independent business woman living in Denver, Colorado. During a morning cab ride to her office she is unexpectedly transported back to the year 1880. 

Francine’s father was an anthropologist who had written detailed journals theorizing about a time-shift that would occur during an unnamed family’s lineage. Supposedly some people within this family were not born during the correct period of time and the universe would align to get the family member back to their proper time. The last thing Francine remembers is holding her cell phone and a framed picture of a woman with long dark hair named Madeleine who could be Francine’s doppelganger. The cab makes a sudden turn throwing Francine backwards into her seat. In the next moment she finds herself lying on the ground seconds away from being trampled to death by a pair of horses. She blacks out after hitting her head and is taken to the home of Gideon Alrick Trumbull, tenth Duke of Roxleigh. 

After regaining consciousness, she realizes that she is no longer in the same century or country. She has a panic attack and starts throwing things and lashing out at the doctor and housekeeper who are trying to help her. Soon (His Grace) Gideon is summoned and she demands he tell her what is going on. Francine thinks that there is a joke being played on her and insists he take her home. He grabs her and demands that she address him respectfully in his household. While still in his embrace, Francine catches sight of herself in the mirror. Instead of seeing a young woman with blond hair looking back at her she sees herself with long curly brown hair. Madeleine is staring back at her. She loses consciousness for the second time.

Freedom: The Rake and the Recluse flowed very well and was extremely intriguing. With the addition of the photos I felt like I was watching/reading a drama series. I liked all of the characters and can’t wait to get to know them better. The dialogue was interesting as well, with both modern and old English from Francine & Gideon and then some French dialogue between Madeleine’s parents. The budding romance between Gideon and Francine has me in suspense. Francine is adjusting surprisingly well to her new reality. The first part in this serial novel ends with Gideon leaving for London on business and Francine not sure if she will still be there when he returns. I’m looking forward to the other 5 parts of this serial novel and wish I could read them all at the same time. The anticipation is a tiny bit tortuous.


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