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Before the Storm [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Clegg
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'This is the first novel I've read by this author and definitely won't be my last! Oh I loved it, so eloquently written. It's completely restored my interest in this period in history.'

'Just wonderful and a complete bargain - do yourself a favour & grab a copy, I've treasured the time I spent losing myself in the story.'

'Brilliant - romps along like a carriage rushing away from Paris.'

'Gripping account of women as sisters, friends & rivals in revolutionary Paris.'

'A fantastic, nerve-wracking adventure.'

'Elegant and absorbing.'

Unable to attract suitably aristocratic suitors in London, a group of beautiful, wealthy and extremely ambitious English heiresses decide to try their luck in Paris instead. Although they initially take the city of light by storm, they soon discover that the glittering facade of social success hides a multitude of sins and iniquities while their own dark secrets and an implacable enemy could well destroy everything that they have worked so hard to achieve.

Based on The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton, Before the Storm is a tale of passion, betrayal, illicit love and friendship set against the backdrop of the opulent and often treacherous worlds of Georgian London, Marie Antoinette's Versailles and the bloodshed and terror of Revolutionary Paris.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 664 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Madame Guillotine (16 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006YK2HN8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #155,627 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Melanie Clegg is a blue haired art history graduate, casual historian, GIN taster, lapsed goth, failed Parisienne, Versailles obsessive, proud Ripperologist, Georgette Heyer fanatic and Victorian Prostitute re-enactor who lives in deepest darkest Bristol with her family.

You can find out more by visiting Melanie's popular art, history and writing blog at

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the third novel of Melanie Clegg's I've read, and as I am writing this review at 1:21am, you may surmise I was thoroughly gripped by it and couldn't sleep until I finished reading it! Many historical novels set against such a huge backdrop of revolutionary France can lose their way, but Melanie's skill is to weave together the stories of the main protagonists while zooming in to focus on their intensely passionate (in every sense) relationships. I read a review elsewhere that this author's greatest achievement is to write so honestly about the way women treat eachother - I certainly agree. Here we see women as silly girls, blooming into women or becomming embittered by the vagaries life throws at them; women as sisters, friends and bitter rivals; women supporting or stabbing eachother in the back. I haven't read The Buccaneers (shockingly!) on which this book is based, so cannot comment on the similarities or otherwise between the two, but I can say that every character is beautifully sketched and you feel like you have known many of them for ages. My favourite character was Clementine, and I did literally gasp at several points in the novel, as she doesn't have an easy time of it, to say the least. That's a feature of Before the Storm - you find yourself so wrapped up in the story you are swept up in the trials and tribulations of the characters so much, you almost feel you are watching a play based around people you know. Dramatic it certainly is, but with a wry sense of humour, too. No stereotypical historical characters here, they are well drawn & leave you desperate to know more about them! I'd love to read Eliza's diary, to know more of Venetia's exotic background and hear all the nasty, gossipy conversations between the wonderfully awful Corisande and her maid. Just wonderful and a complete bargain - do yourself a favour & grab a copy, I've treasured the time I spent losing myself in the story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT! 8 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first novel I've read by this author and definitely won't be my last! Oh I loved it, so eloquently written. It's completely restored my interest in this period in history.

Melanie Clegg manages to weave a whole plethora of interesting characters together which kept me hooked (and focused!). The women, whether ambitious mothers or the girls - daughters, sisters or friends growing into woman or servants with their own agendas were all believable.

The author clearly knows not just the time period but also the places and positively brings France to life.

I'm an avid reader, often finishing one book and ten minutes later starting the next. This novel made that difficult. O nce finished I dearly missed it and my next book took a little getting into although that also turned out to be first class.

Highly recommend both this book and the author, Melanie Clegg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC! 30 Oct. 2013
By Liz P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've now read all of Melanie's books which are all brilliant but this one is definitely my favourite. I love the characters, the desperate social climbing and the reality of these womens marriages over their dreams of how it will be. I am now wholly obssessed by Marie Antoinette and the Revolution and am spending a fortune on history books, thanks Melanie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By H. Gray
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another wonderful book from Melanie Clegg - it grips you from the first page and holds onto you until the very end

Melanie's enthusiasm for the period shines through in the detail and carefully researched context and yet her characters are likeable and realistic

5 out of 5 and can't wait for the next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Before the Storm 13 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Frocks & jewels are always a theme winner for me. However, the rapidly changing relationships between the characters lacked believability& character development was unsustained. Georgette Heyer fans would enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Clegg 1 Oct. 2013
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent extremely enjoyable . Like all of Clegg s books I could not bare to put it down. Can not wait to read more from this author.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be more famous.... 13 Dec. 2012
By Shelly
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me start of with saying: I think it's incredibly unfair that books like this are not famous, Melanie is a WONDERFUL writer and to be honest 50 shades of gray or any other rubbish book like that doesn't even stand to be compared/mentioned to a book like this. She engages with the audience so well, I'm not going to go on about the plot because I assume you've already read it but keep in mind, it has twists and they are subtle- they interlock nicely; it's never 'Oh my God it doesn't make sense', it's more like 'even If I didn't want this to happen, it's still amazing'. I think if a book brings out your emotions be it good or bad, thats when you know it's good, you're almost forming this bond with the characters, I genuinely felt sorry for some characters and after I finished I had this melancholy feeling, wanting to read more. It's realistic, not just some fairytale, and thats what makes this so real. Definitely read it, even if you think the price is low so it's going to be rubbish, it's not! Don't judge a book by it's cover...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely homage to Edith Wharton 13 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is an easy, languid read. There is a clear pastiche of Wharton's The Buccaneers, but with a very different setting, and a more contemporary tone. Don't expect any cod Regency speak within.

Given the book's obvious similarity to Wharton's is easy to make comparisons. Edith Wharton was a true mistress of language and had a remarkable knack for metaphor and description. I don't think the author of this book has the same style, and such comparisons are perhaps unfair. This book should be enjoyed for its own merits which are an ease of language and description, and detailed knowledge of the era it is set in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and similar character
I found the characters all rather dull and very similar so that I kept forgetting who was who. The author frequently described the ladies dress but as the descriptions were nearly... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kitty
4.0 out of 5 stars Before the storm a historic romance set against the French revolution
Very light reading, the author pays great attention to detail and kept my imagination satisfied I definitely read more by this author
Published on 29 July 2013 by Hippy
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute romp.
A fantastic, nerve-wracking adventure, it's always great to read historical fiction where women are at the forefront and where the tone is so naturalistic.
Published on 14 April 2013 by Lindsay Duff
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book,finding it difficult to put down because of the detailed descriptions, meaning I could involve myself with the characters and situations.
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by Gaga
2.0 out of 5 stars It's The Buccaneers!
I read The Secret Diary of a Princess by this author and thought it very good so purchased this but I wish I could get my money back - it is a complete re-write of The Buccaneers... Read more
Published on 8 Jan. 2013 by AnnieO
5.0 out of 5 stars Something a little out of the ordinary
I must confess that I don't tend to read much historical fiction - I tend to gravitate towards historical biographies or complete trash, so this was a bit of a departure for me. Read more
Published on 5 Jun. 2012 by Political Science Student
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded expectations
Knowing the author (slightly!) made me really apprehensive about reading any of her work, in case I didn't like it and it caused social embarrassment and drama. Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by K. Fearon
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