1666. Newly married to a wealthy spice merchant, Kate Finche believes all her dreams of a happy family life are just around the corner until the Great Fire rages through London.
She watches in horror as their livelihood goes up in flames, filling the air with the heady scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. As the city is devastated, Kate's husband, Robert is forced to seek employment to ensure their survival, but when he is found drowned, Kate refuses to believe that he has taken his own life.
Widowed and penniless, she seeks refuge in The House of Perfume, the home of blind perfumer Gabriel Harte, who awakens Kate's senses to a whole new world. But as she flees from this forbidden love, her husband's murderer comes looking for her....
The Spice Merchant's Wife is a stunning novel, bursting with the colour and flavour of Restoration London - perfect for listeners of Philippa Gregory, Joanne Harris and Patrick Suskind's Perfume.
©2013 Charlotte Betts (P)2013 Hachette Audio
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"Steamy historical novel"
I don't usually go for novels like this but I really enjoyed the story despite the fact that the action got a little racy from time to time. I experienced one embarrassing moment when Kate finally made it happen on a rug in front of a roaring fire. Sadly I had no pre warning of this and I was listening on my Car radio. I had also failed to notice that having left a message on my friends phone I had failed to end the call therefore the whole steamy scene was recorded on my friends answering service. Enough said I think.
Set shortly before and after the Fire of London it centred on the dismal marriage of Kate Finche and her somewhat dreary and passionless husband whose family lost their fortune in said fire. Kate experiences a number of adventures trying to rise from poverty and support her tedious husband in his quest for employment.
Kate is quite a loveable character despite the fact that from time to time I wanted to shake her til her teeth rattled whilst she put up with appalling boorish behaviour from the intended breadwinner of the family. All in all a nice book and I shall probably read more. The hero's and heroine's are heroic, the villain's are suitably villainous and while there aren't many surprises in the book (apart from the steamy fire side romp) it plodded along merrilly.
I completely lost myself in this story that was set during the great fire in 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of London. The twist and turns of the plot kept me hooked to the very end along with characters that I warmed to.
I could just smell all the perfumes in the Apothecary shop!
Charlotte Betts is a new enjoyable author for me!
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