Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
The Bells by Richard Harvell
Dazzling, enchanting and epic, The Bells is the confession of a thief, kidnapper and unlikely lover — a boy with the voice of an angel whose exquisite sense of hearing becomes both his life's tragic curse and its greatest blessing.
Moses Froben was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps, the bastard son of a deaf-mute woman banished to the church tower to ring each day the Loudest and Most Beautiful Bells in the land. His life is simple but he is content, until the day his father recognizes Moses's singular sense of hearing and its power to expose his sins. Cast into the world with only his ears to protect and guide him, Moses finds refuge in the choir of the great Abbey of St. Gall and becomes its star singer, only to endure the horrifying act of castration meant to preserve his angelic voice and turn him into a musico.
In a letter to his son, Moses recounts his humble birth in eighteenth-century Switzerland and his life as a novice monk, and tells of the two noble friends — and a forbidden lover — whom he cherished during his chaotic years in Mozart's Vienna as apprentice to the great Gaetano Guadagni, and even as he ascended Europe's most celebrated stages as Lo Svizzero. But in this letter he will also reveal the astonishing secrets of his past and answer the question that has shadowed his fame: how did Moses Froben, world-renowned musico, come to raise a son who by all rights he could never have sired?
William de Veres, the handsome son of a hard-drinking cavalier was abandoned at an early age to a brutal school system and a predatory and abusive tutor. He soon discovers the escapes of poetry, literature, alcohol and sex, and the defences of a sharp sword and lacerating wit. By the time he graduates he is thoroughly debauched. As a titanic struggle erupts between parliament and king, William takes up arms in the Royalist cause and pursued by Cromwell’s men, finds himself seeking shelter from a sober young Puritan woman in a cottage deep in the woods.
The Civil war has cost the once high spirited Elizabeth Walters her best friend and her father, leaving her unprotected and alone. She flees an unwanted marriage, seeking safe haven, but what she finds there is something she never imagined. Despite William’s gratitude and promise to aid her, Elizabeth never expects to set him again, but the Restoration of Charles II to his throne will bring her to the attention of both William and the king.
Can a debauched court poet and notorious libertine convince the wary Elizabeth he is capable of love, and can a promise long forgotten and a friendship forges in the past help two lonely people find each other and themselves? These are the questions asked by LIBERTINE’S KISS.
Both from NetGalley.