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Fleur [Hardcover]

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Aug. 8 1991
Visiting St Petersburg in the early 1850s, Fleur Hamilton - intelligent, attractive, independent, sensible - encounters Count Sergei Kirov. He puzzles her as much as excites her - a vibrant yet enigmatic man, with a tragic secret in his past.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This somewhat arch historical romance, the second book (after Anna ) in the author's projected Kirov trilogy, has as its heroine a Victorian innocent named Fleur, an outspoken 24-year-old of proper English birth who, rescued from ruffians by the visiting Russian Count Kirov, falls madly in love with her savior and his solemn, brooding eyes. He spurns her, and she is devastated. Almost two years later, traveling to St. Petersburg with family, she cannot resist seeing her count one more time. A slave to her heart, she agrees to stay with him, chastely, after his marriage of convenience to the woman Fleur's brother loves. The outbreak of the Crimean War pits Russia against Britain and France, and Fleur's brother, a member of the famous Light Brigade, against Fleur's true love. Although the description of British society in the 1850s is solid enough, the Russian settings are vaguely rendered. Smooth prose doesn't compensate for inconsistent characterization, and the resolution of the complex romantic muddle is hasty and artificial.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this second installment of the saga of Count Sergei Kirov by the author of Anna ( LJ 9/15/91), Fleur Hamilton falls in love with the count when he rescues her from two thugs in the park in Victorian London in 1850. Later meetings so strengthen their attraction that when he leaves London at the end of the year without declaring himself, she is devastated. Two years later, she meets Sergei's brother Peter on the ship taking her, her brother, and her father to Russia. While her father goes on a scientific expedition, Fleur stays with friends, including the Kirovs. The Crimean War begins, disrupting their family ties, and Fleur remains with Sergei and his new wife--held by her love for him and his strange need of her. Multifaceted characters and a strong historical background add flavor to this enjoyable romance. It can stand alone, but reading Anna first will explain why the count acts as he does. See also the review of Harrod-Eagles's Death Watch on p. 169.--Ed.
- Andrea Lee Shuey, Dallas P.L.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "War is hell" June 12 2010
By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"There'll be some kind of treaty between the sovereigns, and everyone will go home. It won't make any difference in the end. That's the sad thing about it all - that when it comes right down to it, it's all for nothing."

This is the second book in Cynthia Harrod-Eagle's Kirov trilogy and begins in 1851 as the Great Exhibition opens in London. Fleur Hamilton is the daughter of an eccentric botanist who prefers to wander the world looking for the rarest plants and letting his children be raised by others. Fleur is accosted by ruffians while out riding and is rescued by a mysterious stranger who disappears before leaving his name, although she does eventually find him - Count Sergei Kirov, a diplomat like his father Nikolai (from Anna).

Like a moth to a flame, Fleur can't stay away from the elusive Count who seems to return her affections in kind - or is he just amusing himself at her expense? Eventually Sergei cuts her cold and Fleur returns to her country estate to nurse her broken heart. Fast forward two years and the Hamiltons journey to St. Petersburg and her father leaves Fleur in the care of a wealthy Russian merchant as he tramps off to Siberia in search of a rare orchid. Fleur soon finds herself in a social whirl that includes the Kirovs - will Sergei break her heart once again? What is the emotional baggage that he carries from his previous marriage that keeps him from declaring his feelings for Fleur? Or does Sergei love another?

The story eventually switches to the south, as the British and French invade Crimea and Fleur finds herself torn between two countries, two men and the horrors and injustice of war as she's trapped in the Seige of Sebastopol.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading - brilliant insight into Russia Aug. 15 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought both books in this saga were extremely good, and the descriptive passages about Tsar Nicholas 1's Russia are incredible. I was on holiday and searching for trashy novels in the local library to pass the time, and found these instead. A very welcome surprise! Does anyone know if there are any more books after 'Fleur', because if there are, I'll be buying them a.s.a.p
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "War is hell" June 12 2010
By Misfit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"There'll be some kind of treaty between the sovereigns, and everyone will go home. It won't make any difference in the end. That's the sad thing about it all - that when it comes right down to it, it's all for nothing."

This is the second book in Cynthia Harrod-Eagle's Kirov trilogy and begins in 1851 as the Great Exhibition opens in London. Fleur Hamilton is the daughter of an eccentric botanist who prefers to wander the world looking for the rarest plants and letting his children be raised by others. Fleur is accosted by ruffians while out riding and is rescued by a mysterious stranger who disappears before leaving his name, although she does eventually find him - Count Sergei Kirov, a diplomat like his father Nikolai (from Anna).

Like a moth to a flame, Fleur can't stay away from the elusive Count who seems to return her affections in kind - or is he just amusing himself at her expense? Eventually Sergei cuts her cold and Fleur returns to her country estate to nurse her broken heart. Fast forward two years and the Hamiltons journey to St. Petersburg and her father leaves Fleur in the care of a wealthy Russian merchant as he tramps off to Siberia in search of a rare orchid. Fleur soon finds herself in a social whirl that includes the Kirovs - will Sergei break her heart once again? What is the emotional baggage that he carries from his previous marriage that keeps him from declaring his feelings for Fleur? Or does Sergei love another?

The story eventually switches to the south, as the British and French invade Crimea and Fleur finds herself torn between two countries, two men and the horrors and injustice of war as she's trapped in the Seige of Sebastopol.

"There had never been vultures in the Crimea before, as everyone knew; now, since the Alma, they were appearing, mysteriously, in large numbers, circling the army and hopping and flapping on its flanks like shabby undertakers haunting an almshouse."

I really never knew much about the Crimean War outside of the stories of Florence Nightingale and I have to say this was an eye-opener. The British soldiers were packed like sardines on ships with inadequate food and water and were dropping like flies from disease before they even landed in the Crimea, let alone being ill prepared for a Russian Winter. All that loss of life for one more useless war.

Like Anna, the first half of the book is rather slow-paced, and there's a lot of day-to-day detail that some readers might not care for - if you need a heroine in constant need of rescue from her latest pickle this might not be the book for you. I enjoyed it, especially the *inside look* at the daily lives of the Russians, along with Fleur's debates with Sergei over the serfs and slavery, I suspect that will carry over into the third book Emily which leads into the Russian Revolution. As for Sergei's big secret and Fleur's eventual happiness? You'll never guess, that was one finish that I never ever saw coming. 4/5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this entire Saga, if you love history, you will as well. June 1 2014
By L. M. beylik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Can't say enough good about this author. Love her and all of her historical writings!
Check the Moreland Dynasty series!
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful trilogy. Nov. 18 2013
By Robin G Humphrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The three Kirov books and saga are another brilliant success for Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. History should be taught to children in such a way. I learned more about the Crimean war and the charge of the Light Brigade in Fleur than at school. Bravo.
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful Aug. 10 2013
By Soleessential - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another great love story filled with military might!
If you love reading about English and Russian history this will not disappoint.
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