A review of Marie, An Alternative Historical Romance: A Killarney Sheffield Novel
By: Mel Favreaux
How many times have you read back through history or listened to a story and wondered what would have happened if one tiny thing had transpired and changed everything? This is what Killarney Sheffield brings to the plate with her novel, Marie.
Many of us are familiar if even in passing with the story of the French King Louis the XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Sheffield’s story begins during the collapse of the French monarchy when the common folk storm the castle in search of the insipient Queen for making the comment of “And let them eat cake,” that one of her husband’s many mistresses had remarked was mentioned when the Queen was approached with the peoples issue of starvation.
The reader learns quickly the Queen was not responsible for the remark and has been living under the charade of a happy marriage to an adulterous king. Rumors abounded of her unmerited infidelities and combined with the false remark brought about what was to be her end.
Pregnant and on the run with her personal servant, they were captured and thought to be no more than a maid and a wench. How far down the ladder Marie had fallen despite her pleas that she was indeed the French Queen and had escaped? Accused of being no more than a mere woman of ill repute and then found herself aboard a ship headed for the penile colony of Australia, to help curb the more baser of the convict’s needs.
Frightened for her life she was approached by another convict, Reagan, and was offered his protection once she gave up her royal wedding ring. Not believing her silly claims of monarchy, but knew there were more jewels to be his if he were only patient. A self-proclaimed man of stone, Raegan discovers Marie’s pregnancy when she miscarries, but stays by her side for days until she’s well again.
The story follows an implausible, but entirely believable love story between a monarch and a criminal that begins during their escape from the colony and in their flight to find freedom again.
After returning to her home with her brother in Austria, does Marie truly begin to understand what true freedom and real love feels like.
There are twists and turns in the plot which take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions back in time.
All in all, I found it a lovely, emotionally charged, quick read. Sheffield has definitely earned herself another fan.