RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2014
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Black Lyon Publishing
To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.
On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.
But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.
Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.
Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.
- GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20576331-the-frost-of-springtime
- SAMPLE PROLOGUE & FIRST TWO CHAPTERS ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/reader/51990-the-frost-of-springtime?return_to=%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F20576331-the-frost-of-springtime
“A riveting story of love and courage in the aftermath of a brutal war, the author brilliantly juxtaposes the hazing splendor of French nobility and the impassioned elegance of two people in love, despite all the world’s oppositions.
The wistful loveliness of the setting paints a picture of a crying France, blending in with the dynamic romance perfectly. Or rather, it does not merely blend in the background as much as glitters like the brightest jewel, shining with a vibrancy that makes one want to relieve the halcyon days of grand old Paris.” – Buried Under Romance
“We are in awe. The Frost of Springtime is a MUST HAVE! Despite that we loved the true facts, we fell instantly in love with the story. It was dark, emotionally devastating, and sensual. The innocence between the two main characters was beautiful and their love grew so strong throughout the story with such grace. One of us even cried while reading The Frost of Springtime. We loved the cover, we loved the writing style, and we adored the characters. We fell in love, really hard.” – Divas Book Blog
“The Frost of Springtime, the debut novel by Rachel L. Demeter, is a gorgeous dark historical romance that captured my heart from the very first word. Immediately captivated by the tragic brokenness of both the city of Paris and the characters I couldn’t help but fall deeply in love with this novel. The primary characters are all incredible. They are all so real, so developed and so perfectly flawed…” – Closed the Cover
“This novel is intricately detailed and wonderfully written! Opening with a heartbreaking scene, I was immediately drawn to the story of Aleksender and his Sofia. Of course, as the story moved on, other enchanting characters helped to make this poignant book complete. The author has blended historical facts with fiction skillfully, and presented several narratives flawlessly. It’s beautiful! I loved it!” – Romancebookworm’s Reviews
“I absolutely love this book. The Frost of Springtime shows how love and tragedy go hand in hand and that love can actually be more powerful than anything. I have found that most books do not hit this point right on the nail like this one does. It’s a Historical Romance and let me just tell you this is one book I couldn’t put down.” – Magic Within The Pages
“Rachel L. Demeter is a brilliant writer, I was captivated by her description, by her knowledge of history. The politics of the time is very prevalent throughout The Frost of Springtime. The instability in the country, as well as the instability is Alek’s life and of those around him. The forbidden love between Sofia and Alek is such a guilty pleasure, a draw to this story.” – Book Obsessed Chicks
“WOW!! The Frost of Springtime is a powerful, epic love story unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The emotional and visual/sensory depth is astounding. I felt Aleksender and Sofia’s connection from beginning to end. Beautifully written (loved the vivid imagery and descriptions!), dark, unusual, rich with history, epic scope, and a soul deep love that only comes once in a lifetime… Brava!!!” – Sivonna, an advanced reader
Aleksender leaned forward just as the last word of Sofia’s words faded.
He split the upside-down seam of her lips with his tongue. Sofia obliged with a soft sigh, matching each of Aleksender’s thrusts with one of her own. Large hands grasped onto her face and cradled the curve of her cheeks inside his palms. Delicious chills shot up and down Sofia’s spine.
He tipped Sofia’s face ever so slightly, drank in her essence, and deepened their kiss. She moaned inside the dewy heat of his mouth and floated into oblivion. Aleksender’s hands slid down her cheeks, wound through the mass of curls and ventured down the elegant column of her neck, slinking over the cloaked rise of her breasts.
He parted the material, exposing the swell of her cleavage to the elements.
The feeling of absolute security, true happiness and belonging, was undeniable. Their hearts burned with an overwhelming affection, which felt remarkably like love.
It was a relief unlike any other, and difficult to ignore. Defeated, entirely at her mercy, Aleksender shook his head. Inhaling a shaky breath, he traced crescent circles upon Sofia’s flushed cheeks and lost himself in her eyes. He curved his neck till their foreheads gently pressed together. Wisps of his breaths fanned against Sofia’s skin, caressing her. His words were barely audible and spoken more to himself: “This is how I can heal.”
Aleksender knew that his fate lay entirely in Sofia’s hands. She held the power to destroy him forever, should she so much as please. Though, he doubted she was capable of destruction. Sofia’s unabashed innocence, her unconditional if not blinded faith, did wonders upon the tattered depths of his soul. Aleksender gathered Sofia’s arms and angled them behind her reclined form. One by one, he guided her hands below the material of his dress shirt and wound them about his torso.
The realization sliced through Sofia.
Tears instantly spilled down the slope of her cheeks. “No, no. What did they do to you?” She trembled, flooded with a violent degree of anger. He’d been branded by cruelty. She could feel it. His scars—those scars—were deep and gruesome. By comparison, the injuries on his chest were mere scratches. The epiphany was a knife in Sofia’s heart.
He’d been tortured. Brutally tortured.
“What did they dare do to you?” Sofia demanded once more, choking on sobs and staring into his eyes. Anger coiled through her body like a palpable force.
The broad expanse of Aleksender’s back inflated and deflated beneath her fingertips … inflated … deflated …
For countless moments, only the faint breeze and Sofia’s weeping could be heard. When Aleksender finally spoke, his voice was cryptically monotonous and dry as if the very topic bored him to tears. “We’d been in the camp for weeks. As you said, those who survived at Sedan were taken as prisoners.”
Aleksender crawled from her arms and hugged onto his legs, every inch of his body convulsing. Sofia saw the memories buried within his eyes. Gunshots. Screams. Rolling cannons and the faded cries of despair. They lodged inside Aleksender, battling for his soul.
Sofia rose from the ground and tentatively crouched behind him. Remaining silent, her hands sunk below the material of his dress shirt and encouraged him with gentle caresses.
“Disease and death were everywhere. Men with boils and rashes the size of saucers. Anyway, we almost managed to escape. It was a good mile away that we were spotted. They were corrupt soldiers, nothing but hungry dogs with a taste for blood-lust. We were tied at the wrists and ankles, crammed inside a tent. Whether it was days or weeks, I cannot say.” Scoffing under his breath, he spat, “The fools demanded answers. They demanded our plans. Strategies. We refused each time. Even so none of us knew anything.”
“Oh, Alek. Why didn’t you tell them? To think you could have avoided so much pain.”
His shoulders lifted into a dry shrug. “I suppose we took a morbid delight in their frustration.” His voice was icy, harsh and void of all emotion. “And besides—it was the prospect of whipping information from our skin that kept us alive. But we were eventually returned to the camp. Bloodied, battered and burned—but alive.” Aleksender passed fingertips through his hairline. “Till this day, I have no idea what changed their minds …” Aleksender sighed and gave an afterthought, “Word had spread of their rather unorthodox methods, so to speak. According to rumor, they’d paid dearly.”
“I pray they burn in hell,” Sofia gasped. “Every last one of them!”
Aleksender laughed, amused by her goodhearted blasphemy. “Ah, Sofia, ma chérie. You do wonders for me.” And then a sudden thought came to his mind. “Christophe was there with me.”
“In the tents?” Sofia murmured, her heart reaching out to both heroes.
Aleksender merely nodded.
Although she’d never had the pleasure of meeting Monsieur Cleef, his name inspired a strange twinge of nostalgia inside her gut. Aleksender had often spoken of his dear friend—a rather admirable man of big ideas and too little restraint. From what she knew of the roguish skirt-chaser, she’d always admired him very much.
“Such wonderfully brave men,” she crooned, caressing one of many scars. “You have a soldier’s heart.”
Cloaked beneath the darkness, Sofia’s fingertips moved over his back in hypnotic motions, not leaving an inch of him unloved. “Do they pain you much?”
“No,” he hoarsely answered, “they are no bother.” His body trembled within her arms. “Not any longer.”
Between tentative kisses and muffled sniffles, she whispered, “To think of the pain you endured. The cruelty—your suffering.”
Aligning their two bodies, Aleksender cradled Sofia’s face between his palms and sweetly stroked her skin. Sofia’s toes curled against the barrier of her slippers. It was intoxicating. By far the sweetest moment in her nineteen years of life. With a last kiss, he whispered into her mouth, “Pain is in the mind. And, in my mind, ma chérie … I was with you.”
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.
Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.
Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.
Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
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