La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess hasn’t even been released, but early readers are already loving it! Five five-star ratings and three great reviews so far! 🙂
Jennifer Senhaji‘s review
Captivating Exotic Regency Romance
More than a romance, this is the epic tale of a woman who uses the ways of a skilled tawaif, a courtesan trained in the seduction of the senses, to rise to power amongst some of the most influential men in England. She is not ruthless or power hungry. No. She uses dance, music, scents, and her beauty to survive in this world where politicians rule.
This story combined the exotic culture of India I gobbled up in other stories like the Taj Mahal Trilogy by Indu Sundaresan, and everything I love about Jane Austen’s classic regency romance novels. The author weaves beautiful prose to drag you smack dab in the center of Kali’s world.
Jude Knight‘s review
La Déesse Noire is one of those novels you keep thinking about long after you put it down. To me, the crux of the story is how the four main characters are defined and directed by the choices they make.
Kali Matai was born and raised a tawaif; one of the women entertainers who served those of the highest rank in the Murghal Empire of India. Her life was shaped by the choices made by her tawaif mother and the English peer to whom her mother was given. In England, she is the pawn of powerful men, but when all she loves is at risk, her choices give her a future she believed could never be.
Lord Birchbright once loved a tawaif and gave her two daughters. Given a choice between his forbidden family and the wealth and power waiting for him if he returns to England without them, he abandons them. His choice is to pursue power at all costs.
The book unusually has two male protagonists: Fitz and Rook. They, too, must choose between love and position. One chooses a lonely life and ultimately self-centered life. The other is prepared to abandon everything he knows for the woman he loves. I loved them both.
Kali is one of the most engaging heroines I’ve read. I loved her dignity, her self-respect, her quiet humour, and her sharp intelligence. And I loved how hard it was for her to let her armour down; to become vulnerable; so that she could reach for her dreams. Her happy ending gave me goosebumps. I also very much enjoyed the interesting and believable secondary characters, both the villains and the friends and allies of the heroine.
Mariana Gabrielle has written a book about people on the edges; people discriminated against and even persecuted because they are different. She has done so with skill, sensitivity, and wit. She left me wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed her Royal Regard and gave it 5 stars. La Déesse Noire is better. I wish I could give it seven.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the same writer’s group as Mariana Gabrielle, and was proof-reader for La Déesse Noire. This did not influence my enjoyment of my book. But don’t believe me. Read it for yourself.
Crystal Cox‘s review
Kali is a famed Indian dancer and courtesan who finds herself controlled by vile men who seek political gain. Will she find a protector who will love her enough to help her and her family out of their clutches?
I have been excited to read this book since I had read the author’s other book Royal Regard and just loved her characters and writing. I can say that this book didn’t disappoint at all. I believe it is even better! Mari Christie’s writing is like poetry flowing over you, consuming your soul. She sparks your imagination and controls your heart as she takes you along with Kali in her journey.
Kali is so strong, I couldn’t even imagine facing her life as she lives for the whims of others. All of the secondary characters are complex and brought to life ,there are many that you will love, hate, and mourn.
Although this book is about a courtesan it is not heavy on the sex scenes.There is only one that goes into detail and Ohhh my it is steamy! You will also be totally seduced by Kali when she dances in the theater, the author makes you feel like you are right there with the audience filling with up with excitement waiting for every move.
I just can’t recommend this book enough! I will have this book in my physical library because I love it so much.