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The Angel's Promise by Frederic Lenoir & Violette Cabesos (2006)
#1
Sad 
What a disappointing book!

I've decided to include this book as a Gothic romance for the following reasons: it definitely has romance, it has a puzzle, and it has the right atmosphere and right settings (monasteries, archeological digs, etc.)

This book had a great set-up and the beginning hooked me. It alternates between two time periods and the main setting for both is Mont-Saint-Michel in France.

Here's a summary from Publishers Weekly...

Art history, architecture, ghosts, two romances separated by a thousand years, murder and more fill Lenoir and Cabesos's grab bag of a book, a bestseller in France and Spain. In the present, Johanna, an archeologist, is tormented by dreams of a headless monk associated with the abbey Mont-Saint-Michel. In 1022, Benedictine Brother Roman is undertaking the construction of an immense new church. After brigands beat Roman, the beautiful Moira, a Celtic healer, cares for him and the two fall in love. When Moira refuses to renounce her pagan religion, the church authorities torture her to death. In the meantime, Johanna slowly unravels the mystery of the headless monk while a killer picks off members of her archeological team.

The romance between Moira and Roman worked incredibly well for me. It made me stick with the book even though it was very clunky in many places. I originally thought that maybe this was due to the English translation and thought of getting the Spanish version. But the plot won't change no matter what the language.

The plot was so incredibly convoluted and implausible at points that it was only Moira and Roman's love story that made me suspend my disbelief enough to keep reading. The digressions into religious theology also slowed the book down because they were so clunky. I liked the characters, but I'm not sure what the authors' intentions were. Perhaps the problem was having two authors, one being a religious scholar with obvious ideas he wanted to present about the views of the mind and spirit. But there were also moments where I went, "huh!?"

Most unforgivable was what my husband and I call the "Fin" moment. That moment at the end of a film when you go, "that was it?" That's how I felt at the end of the book.

Great atmosphere, great visuals, great history too. The book was a bestseller in France and Spain and won a prestigous French literary award, so I had high hopes, but was disappointed at the end.

So, the book gets a D - for Disappointing!
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#2
Maybe you should include it in the "Gothics to Avoid"
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#3
Good idea! Thanks!
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