Obsession, defined as the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image or desire….
Chantel Rosenberg’s passion for music and life had never shone brighter than the time she spent in Bordeaux France. It’s a time when feelings arose and desires ran deep, a time that fundamentally changed her life.
A man living in seclusion, Phillipe Tibideau is haunted and plagued by memories he cannot disregard. Choosing to live a quiet life in his Chateau surrounded by the vineyards of France, he’s left his passion for art behind.
However, the time has arrived to tell his side of a tale. A tale that has depicted him as a ‘beautiful monster’ and he’s finally allowing someone close.
Close enough to ask questions. Questions he’s not sure he wants to answer. Questions about her.
For up and coming journalist Gemma Harris, the pursuit of truth is what drives her and when a job of a lifetime presents itself there is nothing in the world that will stop her from taking it. Even if it does mean leaving her home for several months to stay at Chateau Tibideau, with him.
This is a story of what happens when three passionate lovers collide and the desire for truth, art and music merge.
Chateau Tibideau is a place full of unanswered questions, dark sinful desire and a beauty so hauntingly sad it will have you wondering how you will ever leave the same….
Review by Jenny & Gitte
4.5 beautiful stars
Jenny: Well Gitte, wasn’t this a beautifully decadent and intoxicating read? I really didn’t know what to expect from this book but what I got was a million miles away from anything I had imagined.
This book brought it to the table didn’t it! Passion, mystery, intrigue, beauty and this erotic tale really was something magical. There was something so very special in the way it was all interactively brought to life through the senses and really was more an experience than simply a read. This book took you deep in the moment don’t you think?
Gitte: I have no words really Jenny. Whilst reading it I was intrigued, addicted and swept away by the beauty of it, it was definitely not simply a story; it was a piece of provocative erotic passionate and emotional art. I wanted answers and understanding and as soon as I had finished reading a million thoughts went through my head. I was wowed and am very conscious that this story can be easily ruined for readers who should experience it ‘blind’ as we did.
Jenny: I had to keep reminding myself that this story was set in present time. It really did have that bygone era feel about it and you were swept away by the beauty and magnificence of this story weren’t you? I can’t put my finger on what it was….the music, the speech, the setting…it felt lush and somewhat historical in feel.
There are three players in this story. The inquisitive, passionate Gemma Harris. Who is drawn to Phillipe in such an intense way.
“I want him with such an unexpected ferocity that I barely stop myself from begging him to rip off my clothes and fuck me right where we stand”
Gemma is a Journalist entering Phillipe’s reclusive world when given the task of interviewing this seductive, capricious and temperamental artiste to ascertain the truth behind the disparaging rumours that have been written about him in the press. This is a man plagued by memories which constantly haunt him and have left a mark on his heart.
“He seemed so lost, yet at times, he was also so present and so angry”
And the mysteriously enchanting, delicate, passionate and ethereal like Chantel, sharing a love that was so all consuming, an aching love which she feels to her core.
“Let me touch you in the way you just touched me“
Gitte: Yes absolutely Jenny, I did feel that the story came across as more historical than current. I think it was the prose, the setting, perhaps even because the story seemed stripped bare of any outside influences as we never left our main characters and of course there was the elusive Chantal.
“Would you say they were right? Were you obsessed with Chantal Rosenberg?” – Gemma
Gemma, a journalist has been requested to set the story straight of whatever happened to Chantal Rosenberg who had an intense, obsessive relationship with Phillipe Tibideau, in fact she was intoxicated by him. Or perhaps as the press painted it – his obsession which led to his world famous paintings and the brain washing of his muse Chantal.
“…After all, one of the most horrid stories he read about himself described him as a man who had picked the wings from a butterfly….”
We know something awful has happened and that Phillipe is a broken tormented man who is living as a recluse surviving through living in the past with the ghost of his love that has taken and damaged his heart beyond repair. He is such a complex man, so withdrawn, morose, arrogant and angry, so many emotions that seem to change within the blink of an eye only to turn seductive, passionate with such a seductive prowess.
“When I fuck you, Gemma, I want your eyes open, looking right at me. I’ve never hidden who I am from anyone I’ve touched, and I won’t start with you.”
Phillipe carries a huge burden of self-blame and knows he has the ultimate power to destroy and ruin a woman’s life. So when the unwanted desire for Gemma stirs his very being with the added confusion and guilt, he is a man torn in half. The wanting and desire coupled with the despair tearing him apart. The desire has two faces whilst telling his story alongside Chantal.
Gemma is intrigued, mystified and attracted beyond belief to Phillipe, an attraction she fights feeling it irrational despite the power and allure of this man. She wants to know him, know Chantal and ultimately know their story. The path she gets led down is harrowing, beautiful, passionate and oh so tragic. Gemma is both frightened and embarrassed by the passion he awakens within her. Phillipe well his self-loathing chants Seduce….Tempt…..Destroy.
“I’m struck with the realisation that I’m holding onto a man, who for now, is holding onto me but he has still not let go of her.” – Gemma
Jenny: This story is like a beautifully orchestrated masterpiece that comes to life little by little. It is resplendent in its beauty and every word is so carefully and intricately woven. You really feel like you were drawn into, and inhabited their world.
“Everything has a beauty but not everyone sees it”
I have to say the ending left me with many questions but this did not detract from what was overall an exceptionally well written and compelling story, so different to anything I’ve read recently. The pacing was slow which seems intentional to enable the reader to experience the whole movement, mystery and beauty of the story. It’s was like watching a play. Watching each character own their piece of the stage and watching each one of their stories unfold and come together before your eyes.
“I felt this desperate compulsion to become one with him”
It is extremely hard to review this book without giving away too many details and to do so would only unfair of us as reviewers. This book needs to be experienced and felt in the way the author has painstakingly presented and intended it to unfold.
“This was desire. This was to crave. This was what it felt like to want”
Beautiful. Mesmermising. Resplendent. Erotic. Moving. Passionate. Engaging. A true reading experience.
Gitte: No doubt Jenny, this was truly a brilliantly written journey. I lived and breathed Phillipe, Chantal and Gemma and have to say at times I hated their story as much as I loved it. However, this was purely based on the intensity of my emotions which reflected theirs.
I have to say, considering the heartfelt anguish, the passion and the absolute tragedy of love lost that the ending hurt my heart. It really did. I won’t say why or how. Just know that I understand the why as it falls in line with the story but it is not what I ultimately wanted.
Arc supplied by author for an honest review