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Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

Banquet of Lies

by Michelle Diener

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327347,362 (3.63)2



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I finished the book in a day, I just read and read, and then I read some more. I almost did it in one sitting too if I had not had to go grocery shopping.

There is a lightness over the writing that makes the pages fly on by. And then there is the suspense/mystery/drama that just makes it impossible to put it down. Here it's cos the heroine, Giselle is hiding from the man who killed her father and she has important information too. It's a cat and mouse game, and it's thrilling.

If I compare it to the other regency book she has written then yes I did love The Emperor's Secret a bit more. But that was cos of the heroine's past and the heartache it left me in. Still this book was awesome and it was not as dark when it came to certain things. It also made me want so much more, and I already know someone she totally should write about. But then that is how ES left me too. Wanting so much more, so please, write more :D

Honestly I had the best sentence in my head, it would have made the review. Alas now it's gone but that is how a good book usually leaves me unable to write a coherent review.

Giselle was great, brave and even if she said she was a mouse, then she certainly was a courageous mouse. Jonathan was in a way a sort of beta hero, dunno why I say that really. But in the best possible way. She was the heroine in the book after all.

A cat and mouse game in a rich setting. Danger and romance is promised. And it makes Michelle Diener the go to woman for these sort of books. A good book makes you want more, but a great book makes you crave more. And this one was great. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
3.5 Stars ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
I did enjoy the historical and cultural details the author included into this book. The spy trade during this timeframe was fascinating, seeing the different countries jockey for position as seen through the eyes of our characters. Seeing the intimate way in which a big houses (well, semi-big I guess since the main setting was a smaller townhouse) was ran and the small details in the cooking and food were fascinating as well. I enjoyed seeing this view of Regency England come to life, a world hidden from view and that shines a light on the regular person, not the nobility and the ton.

I enjoyed seeing Gigi pose as a cook to hide from her pursuer and to try to carry on her father's mission. I felt like that took a lot of guts and confidence in her cooking to able to pull that off. Yet, there was a bit of a letdown in the character department as well. I did find that Gigi forgot some very key details in her disguise like how she approaches people, nobility vs. servant, and her many missions outside the home seemed bumbling at times. Actually, that could be applied to many of the other characterizations as well. The scene where the butler is ogling the maid's assets and stumbles down the stairs.... Really?!

I did enjoy the historical/cultural details in this book, and really the story overall was fairly enjoyable. It's just the characterizations that seemed to lack in this Regency addition. Gigi had some redeemable qualities like pluck and courage; yet, her smarts and handling of situations didn't always measure up. And other characters suffered from archetypes and almost slap-stick handling as well. I'm glad this wasn't my introduction to the Regency series; I probably wouldn't have read on. But, it's a nice way to kill some time, I guess. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
Oh gods, I can't tell you how much I love this author! Every book is like pure gooey chocolaty indulgence!

Banquet of Lies is all about delicious food and strong women. In fact, you can always bet that Michelle Diener will write about a score of strong, admirable, brave women in her historical fiction. This is just how she rolls, ladies and gents.

Add to it Napoleonic era and a big spying intrigue, and you'll be as hooked as I am. Banquet of Lies is a continuation of The Emperor's Conspiracy in some aspects (there are interconnected characters), but mostly it's its own story.

Giselle Barrington is a folklorist and a superb cook, and she is trudging all over Europe with her dad, who under guise of his folklore studies works with The British against Napoleon.
When he is killed, she flees with an important document and tries to lie low back in England until she can figure out who is the traitor.

She manages to hire herself as a French chef in the house of Lord Aldridge, and while she is unable to stay away from sorting out the whole household, it's Aldridge who is completely enamored with the magical meals he is getting and the captivating woman who cook them for him. Giselle is full of secrets and she does not know who to trust, but her time is running out while her enemies are getting closer to finding her.

This is historical fiction, so the rules of historical romance do not apply. Both Aldridge and Giselle are lovely characters, but their feeling for each other are secondary to the mystery of Banquet of Lies and to how skillfully Michelle Diener is playing it out.

Wholly recommended, gorgeous and clever spy fiction with layered characters, do read it! ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
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In 1812 London, Giselle Barrington works as a chef for Lord Aldridge in order to disguise her true role as a spy, but when the Lord investigates her back story, he sends her right into the heart of danger.

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