I downloaded The Silk Romance after hearing how great it was from Tina. And so, as I came across it again a couple of weeks ago I just had to have a read. It is an amazing read that I am sure many will find difficult to put down. Yes, The Silk Romance will be forever in your memory as a great, sweet contemporary romance.
Blurb: Sophie Challoner is sensible and hard-working, and a devoted carer of her father. One night her grandmother throws a ball for her in Paris…and Sophie does something reckless that she can never forget.
Jean-Luc Olivier is not a man to treat lightly. And so when fate takes a hand years after the ball, and reunites him with Sophie in Lyon, he is determined not to let her go a second time.
But it seems the fates are conspiring against their happiness. Jean-Luc has secrets of his own. And when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep a sacred promise she made her mother.
The Silk Romance is powerfully intense throughout. Every sentence reads like it was well thought out and Helena Fairfax has a great use of language in this beautifully written novel.
Although mostly told from Sophie’s point of view, the reader also has an insight into Jean-Luc’s mind as he regularly ponders over the delicate situation of Sophie. Many of the characters’ thoughts are highly emotive and the reader finds it incredibly difficult to pull themselves away. At times when I wasn’t reading, I couldn’t help but think of these characters and the predicament they are both in.
Sophie is old before her time in many respects. After the passing of her mother and the promise she made to take care of her father and brother, she works from a young age and makes no time for social activities. Sophie and her family reside on a poor estate in London, and she spends most of her money on debts that her father had accrued. It is only through a studying course that the opportunity opens up for her to gain some work experience, ending her back in Lyon with Jean-Luc. Although it is not a choice she is entirely happy with, it is one she needs to help her through and become successful, in order for her to support her family more.
An ex-racing driver and now owner of a successful silk factory, Jean-Luc has it all. He is a wealthy, handsome man, with his fair share of women and living-it-up lifestyle. However, he is also a dark horse with secrets of his own. Jean-Luc is controlling and manipulative, and yet he enchants the reader as well as Sophie! Helena’s description of his icy cold stares, for example, captivate the reader as if his eyes were aimed directly at them. His determination to get what he wants is matched by no other. And what he wants……………is Sophie.
Sophie is strong and has a great deal of willpower but there are moments when she just can’t help herself. His very presence is one that cannot be ignored. But how is she supposed to live up to the women that Jean-Luc is used to? What will happen when she returns to her father and brother? Her situation is impossible. If only Jean-Luc would leave her be, to finish off her work experience and to return to London.
And yet, despite opposing backgrounds, they do share a subtle common ground – tragedy. Even though tragic, the loss of their mothers has a profound impact on both of them. Sophie made the promise to her mother to always look after her father and brother. This is her number one priority. She simply cannot let her family down as the promise she made is the only connection she has left to her mother. And, it was Jean-Luc’s mother that makes him the man he is.
Although linked to the likes of Cinderella (within the story and in independent reviews), I would also like to mention that, for me, there were elements of Pretty Woman, Love Actually, Fifty Shades of Grey and, one scene in particular reminded me of Dirty Dancing.
I’m not sure if I have ever read a novel as intense as The Silk Romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would love to read more of Helena Fairfax’s work. The Silk Romance surely does embed itself in the reader’s mind. Unforgettable. In summary, if you love a great romance, with great intensity and powerful emotions, you will be head over heels for The Silk Romance!
I was provided with a free copy from A Story Cartel in return for my honest and fair review.
You can check out Helena Fairfax’s blog here.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker