When I was a little girl, I read THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexander Dumas and fell in love with these amazing men whose loyalty to their king, and each other, came before anyone, even the women they loved. When I was asked to read and review THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS by Michele Hauf, the first in her By the Sword series, I leaped at it because Athos was my favorite of the Musketeers. I was not disappointed.
***eARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS:
He is the law. And she is the outlaw…
Musketeer Arnaud de Sillègue d’Athos is ready to bid adieu to the King’s Guard and to lay down his sword. Yet he’s been charged with one final mission—to apprehend a dangerous enemy of the king, the Belle Dame Sans Merci. Despite his desire to apprehend a woman who causes such destruction, Athos refuses…until he sees a sketch of her. It’s the same villainess with whom he had been locked in a passionate, sensual moment.
Emmanuelle Vazet never gives up control, even if briefly, in the arms of a blue-eyed stranger, she felt the need to give in and let desire take over. But now circumstances have placed her at the scene of a murder. Her reputation—and a ridiculous name— has preceded her, even if she is innocent. Now her nameless lover is the enemy. A royalist. A musketeer who could be her undoing…unless she becomes his undoing first.
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Musketeer Arnaud d’Athos is tired and ready to muster out of service as a King’s Musketeer. Having served his King for over ten years, he wants to retire. Just as he’s ready to leave, the most amazing and alluring woman crosses his path, seduces him, and disappears into the night. Normally, Athos would shrug it off but this woman refused to give him the one thing he wanted more than anything from her – her control.
Emmanuelle, known as la Belle Dame sans Merci, is dangerous and powerful. She’s refuses to bend to the will of any man when it comes to her heart or her body but when she meets a charming stranger who intrigues her beyond all others, she wonders if, for once, she can surrender herself.
When Athos discovers his mysterious dark angel is the same woman now accused of murder, and it’s his responsibility to bring her to justice, he wonders if he can he fulfill his mission without losing his heart to her.
THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS by Michele Hauf is an amazing story with all the adventure, intrigue, and charm originally created by Alexander Dumas with added heat. The characters are rich and unforgettable. Emmanuelle is a wounded woman whose innocence was corrupted by an evil man so he might achieve his own goals. Trust is not something she gives up easily and Athos fast discovers she is a formidable adversary in both love and combat.
It’s difficult to know who to trust in this amazing story for the all of the characters seem to have their own secrets and treacherous mystique. Emmanuelle is one of the strongest female characters I’ve met in a long time. She’s powerful, mysterious, forthright, and vulnerable all at the same time. She is the story and Athos is her perfect match.
I highly recommend THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS by Michele Hauf to anyone who loves a good adventure filled with amazing characters, intrigue, mistrust, loyalty, and enough steam to melt your ereader. This is by far the sexiest Musketeer story I’ve ever encountered. Michele has created rich, formidable characters, both main and secondary, which will carry over in whatever direction she takes this series. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Happy Reading Everyone!
About the Author:
Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE. In February 2015 she celebrates her 70th published story!
France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage 'write what you know', all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited, and about creatures, she has never seen.
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THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS, a By The Sword novel by Michele Hauf, Entangled Publishing, available now in ebook formats.