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City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier by [Lux, Melika Dannese]
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City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 167 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

Melika is also the author of the supernatural thriller, Corcitura. She is currently working on the sequel to Corcitura, a collection of comedy/horror/fantasy stories set in Eastern Europe in the 1800s, and the first book of a planned fantasy duology. To learn more, please visit: www.booksinmybelfry.com

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 450 KB
  • Print Length: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Books In My Belfry, LLC; 2 edition (29 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009JQLE2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This new author pulled me into her stunning debut novel with the very first page! I felt like I was actually wandering the streets of Paris in the late 1800s along with the characters so vividly portrayed by this fine new talent.

Melika Dannese Lux, the author, has created not only an accurate portrayal of life in those days, she's invented some of the most lovable, sympathetic protagonists imaginable ... and her villains are true villains in every sense of the word.

I found myself crying for the poor little orphans, Ilyse and her younger brother Maurice, when fate cast them out into the cruel world, penniless frightened, and alone. But Ilyse was not only strong and clever, she was beautiful and a fine entertainer. She managed to save herself and her brother from a life of poverty and soon became "La Petite Coquette ... Diva of the Paris Stage."

It would spoil the story if I revealed how she managed that, but it wasn't without great cost to her: she lost her brother for a time and was practically a prisoner of a debauched wealthy, titled man ... a man who could get away with murder--and did.

How did Ilyse manage to get out of "bondage" to the evil Count? And what happened when she fell in love with a gentle, kind, handsome Englishman and tried to escape? And did she ever win her brother back?

Those are all questions that kept me riveted to my seat--reading page after page--until I learned the answers, as I'm sure you will be.

Ms. Lux certainly has a "way with words," and her description, dialog, and pacing are excellent, attributes found only in the best books. She's definitely an author I'd like to hear from again, so I'm pleased to learn she's now working on the first of a fantasy trilogy that will soon be released. I, personally, can't wait to read it. She's very gifted.

I highly recommend this book. - Betty Dravis, 2007
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By TeensReadToo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Ilyse Charpentier's world changes forever the day her parents leave on their boat trip that Ilyse and her brother Maurice surprised them with for their 20th anniversary. Her parents' lawyer notifies them that while at sea, the ship has exploded and everyone on board was killed.

So Ilyse and her brother are sent to live with their uncle, Emile. Emile is an evil man, and the two children witness him murdering one of the house staff. Fearing for their lives, the two run away and try to return to Paris. Upon their return, they are told that their lawyer friend has been murdered and all their money has been cleared out from the bank.

Trying to honor her mother's last words to her before they boarded the ship, Ilyse takes it upon herself to protect Maurice and keep the two of them together. Relying on her beauty and her voice, she eventually talks her way into the hottest cabaret in Paris. There, she receives the unwanted advances of Count Rakmanovich. He will do anything he can to possess her. Her young brother believes him to be evil and wants nothing to do with Ilyse if her plans to survive include the generosity of the Count's money.

For five years, Ilyse misses her brother but is at the mercy of the Count. She fears him and dreads seeing his face in the crowd at the cabaret at night. But one fateful evening, an outgoing British man, Ian McCarthy, stumbles into the cabaret and catches a glimpse of lovely Ilyse. The two meet, and an instant connection is formed.

Before Ilyse can even imagine a life of love with Ian, she must face her fears and her oppression by the Count.

Ms. Lux writes a lovely period piece taking place in 1894 Paris. The scenery is beautifully described, and the wonder of the City of Love is expertly detailed. Ilyse is a strong character that faces her fears for true love.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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Format: Paperback
City of Lights, The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier, is the story of a chanteuse, who has had more heartache than a 21-year old should have to bear: the death of her parents in a ship accident; abuse at the hand of her guardian; and estrangement from her beloved brother because of a misunderstanding. Lifted out of poverty by her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich, she becomes the darling of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene, but the count's patronage comes with a price: his desire to possess her, mind, body and soul.

At the heart of the story is the love between Ilyse and Englishman, Ian McCarthy. The two fall in love within hours of their meeting. It is the magical kind of love unique to the very young whose thoughts for the future extend no further than midnight. Ilyse naively believes that she can walk away form the evil count, and Ian is ill-prepared to deal with a man who is willing to kill to keep his "Pure Dove" from being with anyone else.

This novel will be especially appealing to young adult readers who enjoy an engaging love story set in one of the most exciting cities in the world, a city where Toulouse Lautrec wanders the streets of Montmarte and the five-year old Eiffel Tower dominates the Parisian skyline. This is a remarkable debut, especially when you consider that the novelist is very near to the age of her heroine. Her broad knowledge of history and the arts is evident, and her enthusiasm for her subject leaps off of every page.
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