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The General's Mistress (Numinous World, #4)
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The General's Mistress (Numinous World #4)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Liberté, Egalité, Sensualité.

As a spirit of change overturns Europe’s old order, strong-willed Elzelina Versfelt enters her own age of revolution. Married as a romantic young girl to a man who wanted only her money, but neither loves nor desires her, Elza refuses to be chained any longer. Leaving Amsterdam, her marriage, and her home, she flees to France—where the old rule
Paperback, 386 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Gallery Books
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3.5 stars

In 1789 Elzelina Ringeling was twelve and married. Her husband, twenty-five years old, had married her for her money. At nineteen she had two sons, an unsatisfying marriage, and a husband more interested in his position than his wife or family. Leaving her unhappy marriage and her two children behind in The Netherlands, Elza ran away to Paris. And became the mistress to General Victor Moreau.

Based on the memoirs of Ida St Elme, this historical fiction is beautifully written and detailed
Just a quick note first, because I know that a lot of parents and kids read my reviews: this is definitely a book written for adults, not for kids. I usually don't review the adults-only books that I read here on Goodreads, because I don't want to offend any of those readers.

However, I was thrilled to win an ARC of this book, after loving Jo Graham's earlier adult historical fantasy novels, and part of the deal was that I agreed to review it publicly. So, with that warning out of the way...

First off, I really loved Jo Graham's books Black Ships, Hand of Isis, and Stealing Fire. The General's Mistress however, threw me for a loop. Her previous books were steeped in mysticism and the pantheon of the Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods. There was some level of sensuality in the story, but it didn't overpower anything. The General's Mistress read more like an 19th century Fifty Shades of Grey at first. Being thrown by the very overt sexuality of the main character, I had to think that this ...more
In short - bad softcore porn. Contains none of the things that drew me to the series in the first place.

I realize any book about a... well, prostitute... is going to contain sex. I realize any book which has the tagline "Liberté, Egalité, Sensualité" is going to contain sex. But... seriously? Could we do with a little less sex in this one? I can't possibly take any more reading about women's "pearls". If I ever call any of my body parts anything like that, I would like each and every single one
Jenny GB
Well, as much as I liked Jo Graham's other novels this one was just not for me. I asked for it immediately from the library without hesitation. I should have read more about it before reading it. If the description isn't enough to clue you in let me forewarn you that the book contains a rather large dose of sex that includes some elements of dominance without going to S&M types of things. It also includes some gender confusion and addresses ideas of homosexuality regarding that. This is not ...more
This is the first book that I've read in the Numinous World series and the first of Jo Graham's novels as well. I had no expectations going into the read and was happy to have enjoyed the tale as much as I did.

The book revolves around Elzelina Versfelt during the mid to late 1700's, who finds herself in a string of situations that tests her character and her will. Elzelina is a strong-willed female who bends and shifts with the various fortunes and misfortunes that come her way. She is vastly f
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love all Jo Graham's historical novels, and this one is no exception, with the added attraction that we know a great deal of this is accurate, as the real "Elza", Ida Saint Elme, left copious Memoirs of her rich and exciting life. This is a free woman who refuses to be pushed into a loveless marriage, becomes an actress, a courtesan, a spy, an agent of Napoleon's, a soldier (in man's dress), a writer, and much more. With her we follow the armies of the French Revolution, the intrigues of Napol ...more
Allison  Macias
This review is posted at Musings of a Book Junkie.

Elza Versfelt has always been good at disguises. When she is foretold she will meet her redheaded soul mate, Elza decides to leave her unstimulating marriage. She becomes the mistress of one of Napoleon's generals, Victor Moreau and travels to France as his companion. Taking the name Ida St. Elme, Elza becomes one of France's elite. But Moreau is not her redheaded soul mate. Fate deals Elza a harsh deck and brings the beautiful woman low. This is
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Rating: 3 Cups

Married at twelve to a man who seduced her for her money and connections, Elzelina dreamed of love and passion. Unfortunately, her Dutch husband could care less about either. Unfulfilled by her life as a wife and unwilling to sacrifice everything for her husband’s political ambitions, Elza flees. When her husband threatens to have her declared mad and locked away, she seeks the protection of a French General.

General Moreau introduces Elza to a life of carnal enjoyment she never tho
Lesley Smith
The General's Mistress invites the reader into a world of revolution, spiritual enlightenment and the trials of one old soul who is struggling to remember. First introduced in Stealing Fire, the book is narrated by Elza, also known as Ida St. Elme and various other names. She escapes a conventional life and finds herself thrust into a world of sex, violence, theatrics and an ancient vow made long ago. The thing about this book is it welcome readers of Graham's Numinous World books (Black Ships, ...more
Lina G
Jo Graham's Numious World series never fails to please, enchant, and completely envelope in another world. I love our dear heroine/hero, who is DEFINITELY not simpering or passive. She has a deep, dark side that she indulges in with relish, and she's badass!
I enjoyed this book, particularly the latter parts, as Elza became more an active participant in the events going on around her. She was still swept in the current, as everyone is, she just noticed more and engaged more with others. As part of an interview at the end the author notes that she had trouble selling the book because editors told her Elza wasn't likable - this most certainly isn't true, and even if it was isn't a reason to turn down a book! Books with unlikable lead men are published ...more
it's a great book. i didn't like it as much as black ships or hands of isis, but that wasn't because of the writing. i just like those historical periods better than this one.
What can I say, I absolutely loved this book, I found the main character to be completely well written and likeable.

This takes place at the end of the period of what is referred to as "The Terror" in French History. Napoleon is just a general in the army. You get to see France change from the ways of being ruled to being a republic. It didn't happen like it did in the United States, because Europe had more to fear from the French revolution then the American one.

(view spoiler)
Fantastic Napoleonic novel. Don't go into this expecting a conventional romance, despite the cover. Elza Versfelt -- also known as Elzelina Ringeling, Ida St. Elme, and Charles van Aylde -- is far from your typical heroine. She abandons her unsatisfying marriage for one of Napoleon's generals, only to find far more than she had bargained for. Her search for freedom is also a search for purpose, and it takes her from the bedroom to the Parisian underworld of theater and seance to the battlefield. ...more
Very interesting historical romance . Napoleon era. Wish the author could have pulled it together better in the end.
Adrianna Scibor
I had never heard of Ida St. Elme until I read this book and now I want to read her memoirs.

I do think though that Jo Graham captured the essence of her/her writing/memories very well. I also like the idea of every main character in her books is a reincarnation. So essentially, Ida/Elza is Gull, Lydias and Charmian.

I can't wait to get my hands on the next book about Elza/Ida now!
Heather Layne
SO GOOD. Must read more.
It started out poor, too much to take all in the first few chapters. Almost gave up, but I have really enjoyed her writing. Skimmed a bit, then settled in. The rest of the story was not so very bad, I totally accept the character and how she functions and why. Very plausible. Don't care for all the reincarnation bits, that's just dumb. Graham writes very good battle scenes. Look forward to the next one, but after that hope she sticks with ancient history.
Not as good as the previous books in this series - I think the author skipped too many portions of history between the third and fourth books. Still entertaining and a decent read. 3.5 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After slogging through Freud's Sister, this book was a delight! There were some pretty racy sections in this book, which were a surprise, and the biggest surprise at the end was that the woman that this book is about actually existed and had affairs with 2 high-ranking military men, as well as a little fling with Napolean. And, she wrote a book herself, which I am definitely going to have to read!
This book was very different from the other books in Jo Graham's series. I wish there was more of a connection with the other books rather than just a paragraph or two in the book. Outside of that, I liked the story and look forward to any more books that Jo Graham has coming out.
This is a bit less numinous than the previous Numinous World books. It's barely fantasy at all, and borders on historical fiction. A good Dutch hausfrau runs away to join the French Revolution. Stuff happens as she follows the drum.
Good story about a woman who became a courtesan and mistress because of a controlling husband and unhappy marriage. Based on the diaries of Ida St Elme, the story was full of her steamy encounters and her thoughts and desires.
I love Jo Graham's books, although this one seemed to drag a bit in the middle but it definitely had a strong finish.
Sarah Housknecht
Somewhat true memoir of a mistress during the time of Napoleon. Love this time period and it was very well written.
Not as good as the first three.
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Numinous World (5 books)
  • Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)
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  • The Emperor's Agent (Numinous World, #5)

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