Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Tour for The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of historical reads will be drawn to the intensely emotionl book I'm spotlighting today.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card and 5 bookmarks too!

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.


“I do not love you.”
Aleksender’s lips crashed against Sofia’s in a movement he was utterly unable to control. Both hands broke through the material of her cloak in a jarring whoosh of air, grazing her shoulders with his icy fingertips.
Riding up and over the curve of her hips, speaking into the dewy heat of her mouth, “I do not love you.” Rough, weathered hands skimmed over the tender swell of her breasts and worshiped every inch of her beauty. His tongue dueled with her own, drinking Sofia deep, sucking in her spirit. Her kisses were sweet as nectar, dripping with pure seduction and a virginal sensuality. “I do not love you.” Aleksender’s quivering fingertips tangled within the mass of damp, russet locks. He gave a gentle tug and reeled her closer. “I do not love you.”
His hands swept down the elegant column of her throat and enveloped the thin shaft. Aleksender tenderly cupped her face within his palms. His thumbs stroked her cheeks and drew invisible circles along the slates of porcelain flesh.
Sofia knew he was a broken soul … more so now than ever before. No, she was not scared. His cruelty was entirely wasted. One look in his eyes had confirmed her every thought. He’d never harm her. Although, for reasons she couldn’t fully comprehend, he wanted her to believe otherwise.
But Sofia saw past his rugged façade. And her heart only constricted for his pain. She felt so helpless, so very trapped. How she ached to heal him! She ached to kiss away all of his scars—internal and external, old and new. She ached to rescue him from the blackened depths of despair—just as he’d done, all those nine years ago.
No. She could not stop herself. Sofia sighed and slanted her lovely face, deepening their kiss to new limits.
Yes, Sofia’s heart screamed, she could heal him. He needed only to open his arms, mind, body—
Aleksender forced himself away. Sofia’s eardrums thundered, slamming against her consciousness in a deafening roar. She could hear her own pulse. Her heart swelled to painful proportions, threatening to burst free.
Aleksender and Sofia harmoniously panted as they struggled to catch their breaths. Eyes blinking shut in despair, Aleksender pressed his temple against Sofia’s. Nestled within the safety of her arms and speaking for the both of them, he recited the tragic confession: “I cannot love you.”

THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME by Rachel L. Demeter - Book Trailer



After reading so many historicals I've found that the best ones put readers through the emotional wringer through engrossing characters and heart wrenching events.  In The Frost of Springtime readers are put through a dramatic saga that covers years in the life of a man haunted by darkness who comes home from war even more scarred than before.  His only hope for happiness is in a young girl he saved from prostitution whose relationship with him is considered taboo as he's married and she's considerably younger and seen as his ward.  Some readers might take issue with their forbidden love but I found the emotional upheaval engaging and their mutual pain kept me fully engrossed in the story.

At story's start Aleksender is dark, moody, and cynical.  He sees a brightness in Sofia, a love of life missing from his and he can't help but be drawn to her.  He leaves her happy and safe to go to war and comes back even more damaged and with more obstacles keeping them apart than age and social status.  Aleksender is even more dark and angry, scarred inside and out, because of all his responsibilities and he's tired of living his life as expected.  Sofia continues to be his shining light and I can empathize with his feelings of being stifled and controlled by his title.  She represents escape and carefree living and he's willing to toss away everything for her but is worried she doesn't care for him the way he does for her.  It's a heartbreaking journey as they dance around their feelings for each other.

Sofia started out life at the bottom of the social ladder when one moment of compassion changed everything.  She suddenly lived in the lap of luxury with her savior the moody and angry Aleksender.  She owed him everything and repaid him through her sweetness and light and carefree nature.  She came to have a child's love for him but in the intervening years she sees him as a complicated man in need of saving.  Their battle to be together is heartbreaking with lots of obstacles along the way that make the ending even richer.  

Theirs is a relationship full of sexual tension and sensual yearnings.  Their journey to HEA is a tumultuous one with compelling secondary characters affecting their journey every step of the way.  The author vividly depicts this unique historical period to make it larger than life but some readers might find it too descriptive.  I ultimately applaud this author's debut read for its unique setting and unconventional pairing.  The scenes and setting have an almost lyrical feel to them that will fully immerse readers into this forbidden romance and the talent on display here has me excited for what Ms. Demeter crafts next!

My rating for this is an A-

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


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.



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  1. *Pardon me while I wipe this stupid grin off my face*

    Hi, Jody! :) Your review rocked my night! :-D I am absolutely ecstatic that you enjoyed The Frost of Springtime so much -- and I'm thrilled that I was able to share Sofia and Alek's love story with you!! Thank you so much for being a part of my tour! I am honored to be featured on your blog, and look forward to meeting some of your visitors throughout the day. :)

    BTW, I read through many of your reviews, and they are all so insightful and wonderfully written! What a fantastic blog you have!

    <3 Rachel

    1. Thank YOU for being here and for your kind words! This was an impressive and fully fleshed-out story and I look forward to what's coming out next.... Any hints you'd like to give us for your next story?

      The Scarf Princess

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. :) My WIP is a historical romance set during the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in Paris, France. It is very dark like The Frost of Springtime, and features characters who are tremendously haunted by their pasts. It'll especially appeal to those who enjoy strong heroines and the "beauty and the beast" theme. ;)

    1. I recently joined a French reading meme. This sounds like a good fit. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

    2. What's a reading meme? Is it like a Book Club? Sorry for my ignorance. :-P

    3. A meme is a certain activity (like posting the cover to the book your currently reading or a quote from the book your reading) done by a group of bloggers on the same day every week. Everyone gets to see each other's answers as they post the link to their post at the meme creator's site. It's a way to make new friends and get more followers.

      I hope that makes sense.

      The Scarf Princess

    4. Oh, how neat!! Thank you so much for clairfying that, Jody! :-)

  4. I like the time period of the book.

  5. Thanks for your honest review

  6. Congrats on the great review of The Frost of Springtime, Rachel. What is your favorite scene in the book?

    Thanks for sharing your impressions, Jody. Sofia and Alek's love story sounds really intriguing.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment!! :)

      What a fantastic question! I'd have to say, some of Alek's "healing scenes" are my favorite, due to their emotional charge and implications. I also love the scene where the Vendome Column is torn down by the revolutionaries--not sure why!

  7. I like the cover for "The Frost of Springtime!"