For Fans Of
Monica Bentley makes history sexy.
At a time when women were merely chattel, one woman forges her own path.
m'Lady Lela, countess of Brionde, has survived the bloody sack of Chateau Brionde. Her husband did not.
Far from enjoying freedom, now she lives with the daily expectation of a Summons from the king. How many days left of sweet air will she breathe before being ordered to the confines of court at the Palais de la Cite in Paris? How soon before she is ordered to marry, turning over all of her lands and her person to her new lord and master? How much longer before her body becomes sacrificed to the larger political aims of the crown?
The carnage of Poitiers looms in the background of this thrilling story of one woman's quest to negotiate the slippery shoals of court intrigue.
Inspired by historical events, Chateau of Longing helps us escape to an earlier time in this unforgettable tale of a woman coming into her own with love and resilience.
For mature readers only.
What drives you as a writer of history?
The history I love best is the story of people – their passions, their flaws, their mistakes, their redemption. That’s what makes me endlessly fascinated with we as a people, no matter what time nor place. We always seem to have the same dreams and nightmares, and I love to write about them.
What draws you to medieval France?
The pageantry, ambition, the endless intrigue between a small group of self-selected nobles and the royalty. The constant battle over real estate. Henry V got lucky in having Shakespeare become his press agent. To my reading of history, Henry V is more the recipient of good fortune than an excellent military general. One who chanced his way into spectacular victory at Agincourt. No, when it comes to warrior kings, Edward III looms large in my mind for his twin victories at Cressy and Poitiers. His great bete noir is the condotierre commander du Guesclin, one of the first practitioners of asymmetrical warfare. Take all that together and you have a wonderful stage on which to mount a story to which a reader will return to again and again over the years.
Your heroines find their strength through their femininity. Why is that?
I believe the root of a woman's power lies in her sexuality, whether noble queen, powerful witch, or lost girl. Doomed to exist and compete in a time when society’s norms – its laws, customs and traditions – were all designed to keep them in the background. Those women who come forward such as Emma of Normandy or Eleanor of Aquitaine or Elizabeth I do so by using their sexuality to render men weak in the knees. I celebrate that phenomenon with my storytelling.
What sources of inspiration did you use to write the Chateau of Love series?
In writing the Chateau of Love series, I leaned heavily on medieval chroniclers Venerable Bede, Chaucer and Froissart, philosophers Aquinas, Bonaventura, and Teresa d’Avila, as well as numerous other classical and medieval historical and military authorities. Duelists will immediately recognize my thrill of the fight as well as my preference for fencing dry.
*Please note that each of the Chateau of Love trilogy are completely standalone stories with no cliffhangers.
“Lots of political intrigue, plenty of chivalry, and an attention to detail that is rare in historical novels.”
“The adventures and deception draw one into the book keeping us enthralled...”
“Well written storyline that lured me right into the storyline from the very first page and the well detailed characters...”
"Well written storyline that lured me right into the storyline from the very first page and the well detailed characters made me feel like I was looking through a window watching as the story unfolded between the characters! This book was a hard one to put down!" Pat W
"This second installment also had me enthralled as I learnt more about Lady Lela, her love for John the Master of the Guard and the deception of her childhood friend Marcel, the Count of Anjou. Monica weaved yet another vivid story with glimpses of the main characters of Book 1 while drawing into the limelight characters previously briefly mentioned. The adventures and deception draw one into the book keeping us enthralled as you try to guess who Lady Lela will end with." M. Fahd