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The Orange Grove

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Blois, 1705. The château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise simmers with rivalry and intrigue. Henriette d’Augustin, one of five mistresses of the duc, lives at the chateau with her daughter. When the duc’s wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously undermines a new mistress, Letitia, Henriette is forced to choose between position and morality. She fights to maintain her status whilst targe ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by Regal House Publishing
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Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch. (2019).

**Thank you to the author for getting in contact and sending me a free copy of this novel, I am very appreciative**

It's 1705 in Blois, and the château of Duc Hugo simmers with rivalry and intrigue. Henriette is one of five mistresses that lives there, along with her daughter. Henriette is forced to choose between her position and morality after the duc's wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously und
The Duc Hugo d’Amboise had a wife, the Duchesse Charlotte and several mistresses who all lived together in his chateau which was surrounded by beautiful gardens and the orange grove. It was 1705 in Blois, France and the politics of the household was rife with petty jealousies, anger and enemies. When a new mistress arrived, the young and beautiful Letitia, Charlotte was intensely jealous. The duc wanted a son; Charlotte was unable to produce one therefore the duc’s mistresses felt the pressure t ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

4.5 stars

'The moist soil surrounding the orange trees was criss-crossed with blue shadows and smelled of citrus and sunshine. The sun warmed Letitia’s head as she stood, arms folded across her chest, the trees in endless rows around her.’

The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch, is a 2019 Regal House Publishing historical fiction title, and it is the author’s second novel, but it is the first piece of writing I have read by this talented storyteller. The Orange Grov
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: booksirens
I found this to be an enjoyable historical novel. At first the plot was confusing but in time everything fell into place and the plot moved along quite well. The story sometimes seemed to drag on but the last third of the novel was hard to put down. I knew something big was going to happen and I wasn't disappointed. And it was a very satisfying ending, in my opinion.

I received an ebook copy for free from BookSirens and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.
Renee Hermansen
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book from Kate Murdoch and Beauty and Lace.
Upon arrival I thought the cover beautful and classic and the storyline had me intrigued. I was not dissappointed.
This book is well written and takes you to another era that you cannot even imagine. Set in 1705 at the chateau of the Duc and Duchesse D’Amboise, they live with his 5 mistresses and children whom all have a story and secrets.
I love the beauty depicted in the settings and dress of this era.
Jodie- Readthewriteact
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well hello scandalous historical fiction, where have you been. This book was so good. Kate captures the time period perfectly with gossip, betrayal, and just a few mistresses thrown in there. The plot is fantastic and each characters backstory elevates it from a good read to an excellent one. If you like historical fiction, give it a go.
N.N. Light
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise, where status and political jockeying is exchanged between the sheets. Life is good for the Duc until his new mistress, Letitia, arrives. He’s captivated by her and spends all his time with her, practically ignoring the other mistresses and his wife. Duchesse Charlotte seethes with envy and plots to get rid of the new mistress. She cajoles the other mistresses to help her and Henriette is caught in the middle. Will she forego her position at the châte ...more
This novel surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. After a slightly shakey start where I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this novel after all, I suddenly found myself drawn into the intrigue going on in the château.

I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be part of the Duc's House of mistresses, the rivalry and underhanded nastiness that went on would of had me running for the hills.

I disliked Charlotte immensely, though part of me sympathised with her, because who would want to share their husba
Kerri Turner
A tense exploration of the lives of women in eighteenth century France, and how the only slight power they could wield was through their sexuality and ability to manipulate those around them in dangerous ways - and how more often than not, even these small powers were out of their grasp, or came with unforeseen consequences.
Richly detailed and vivid, with a cast of characters who each has a thoroughly fleshed-out background that informs their individual story going forward. Their lives, like the
Christina Houen
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kate Murdoch's 2nd historical novel is set in a nobleman's chateau at the beginning of the 18th century. What do we expect of a historical novel? That it recreates a different, distant time and a place for us, with the author's research providing a seamless, believable world; that the time and the place and the characters take on their own life; that the story arc and its resolution be faithful to the period as well as to the characters.

On these three counts, I think this is a successful novel.
Pretty Bibliophile
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
A thoroughly entertaining and delicious read, The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch, is a historical fiction set in 18th century France. From the synopsis itself, I could imagine that it would be full of political rivalries, power plays, secrets, etc and I had high hopes for the book. I am glad to say that it definitely exceeded my expectations.
With a glorious world-building, the plot largely takes place in Blois, in the chateau of Dux Hugo d’Amboise. Inhabited by the Duc, his wife the Duchesse, and
rina dunn
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in 18th century France a tale of Jealousy and posessiveness this book transported me to the Château of Duc Hugo d'Ambrose, A powerful man with many mistresses all vying for his attention.
When the Duc invites a new mistress Letitia to the Château and quickly becomes besotted with her it causes his wife Duchesse Charlotte feelings of great Jealousy.
Henriette is caught in the middle. On one hand she wishes to remain loyal to her friend the Duchesse but also wants to be kind and welcoming to Le
Kali Napier
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2019
The more things change, the more they stay the same... Set in an early 18thC chateau, The Orange Grove presents an insight into the fraught and precarious social world of a Duc's mistresses and his wife, Duchesse Charlotte. The factions, gossip, machinations, and bullying is reminiscent of the worst in what can happen in groups of females, who fight to gain their position in the pecking order. But all are subject to the whims of the Duchesse, whose own position is contingent upon the Duc's fickl ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
First let me say that as someone who isn’t used to reading this genre, I honestly struggled to adapt to the terminology used.. and yet I found it fascinating - Kate’s writing is incredibly descriptive and I it was very easy to imagine the world whilst reading.
The first 50 or so pages you are introduced to a mass of characters to which I found myself getting a little lost on their relationships to one another but before you know it, you’ll have it down pat! There are a lot of twists and turns in
Eleni Hale
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This star rating represents how excited I am about this book!! Can’t wait to read it
Naomi (aplace_inthesun)
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs

Duc Hugo d’Amboise is a member of the French nobility and married to Duchesse Charlotte. The year is 1705 and Louis XIV is King. The duc has a number of mistresses - Heloise, Henriette, Celine, Isabelle, and Letitia all of whom live together under the one roof. Letitia is the newest mistress who, at 18, is mistress as a result of a financial arrangement between the duc and Letitia’s father.

Letitia’s move to the chateau challenges the social structure of the house. The Duchesse can see how enamo
Laura plantladyreader
I read this entire book in one day, and any book that I can't put down definitely deserves five stars. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and one of my favourite time periods and places to read about is 18th century France. I love reading about French nobility and customs, the draw of Versailles and the status you need to have in order to be invited to court. The clothing, the elaborate makeup and hairstyles, the rumours and intrigue? I'm all for it.

This book had it all. French nobility and th
Linda Hepworth
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I always feel slightly nervous about reading historical fiction because, when badly executed, I find it at best risible, at worst irritating! However, by the time I’d read just a few chapters of this story I felt immersed in the world of early eighteenth-century France, as well as fascinated by the cast of characters who would share with me their individual experiences of that world.
The story is set in Blois, in the château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise, a man who lives a courtly l
Chapter Ichi
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Orange Grove is a historical fiction novel set in Blois, France 1705. It is filled with intrigue, deception, jealousy, hatred, love and everything in between.

The novel centres around Duc Hugo d'Amboise, his wife Duchesse Charlotte and the duc's five mistresses. Letitia, the new mistress falls victim to the Duchesse's jealousy. Letitia fast becomes the duc's new love interest and his wife is disgruntled to say the least. Henriette, a woman with her own secrets, befriends Letitia and shows he
Two stars. A pity. This is not really a flawed book, its just not my thing. It's Mean Girls of the 18th century. I'm afraid I'm not big on women bitching and gossiping and dragging each other down and that's what this is all about. It sat so badly with me that I don't even remember if there was anything else going on but conniving and undermining and backstabbing. I kind of knew it would be that kind of story when I bought it, but I didn't expect that it was the whole setting. I wanted to suppor ...more
Wendy Dunn
In these challenging pandemic days, I have sought for mental escape by returning to reading old friends on my bookshelves. Many of these novels I replaced because they were falling apart after years of re-reading. I know these books well, and trust them and their stories to leave me with hope, and not despair. I have avoided new books, because I wanted to be certain they offered me the right kind of escape. So, I was delighted to read The Orange Grove and find myself not only highly entertained, ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it

Kate Murdoch’s The Orange Grove is an indulgent, shimmering novel that follows the lives of a spurned wife and four mistresses as they navigate the petty jealousies, passionate liaisons, and quests for self-fulfillment and love that define life at an 18th century chateau.

The omniscient novel starts off innocuous enough, quickly flipping between different perspectives of the chateau’s residents so we get a taste of what their lifestyles are like. Though we do get to know all of the mistre
New Book Reviewer
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Orange GroveThe story of The Orange Grove takes place in the 18th century. In a château, Duc Hugo d’Amboise lives with his wife and five mistresses. Letitia is the new mistress, young and beautiful, whose presence affects Duchesse Charlotte, wife of Hugo, the most. Living a life with her husband and his mistresses isn't easy but the Duchesse manages it quite well and has a good reputation. It doesn't bother her much when her husband brings in young Letitia until he is in love with her and wa ...more
Jane Hunt
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The rich historical detail of France, at the beginning of the eighteenth-century, is brought to life, with the intrigues, passions and sacrifices of the five court mistresses, in the house of the Duc Hugo d’Amboise. All the women of varying ages and backgrounds have been drawn into the Duc’s household, his Duchess tolerates their presence until she realises, her husband is falling in love with the youngest, Letitia. Threatened and heartbroken she uses the rivalry and secrets, of her uneasy house ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
The Orange Grove is definitely something different. Set in the early 18th century in France it is a tale of aristocracy and excess. The Duc Hugo d’Ambois lives in a chateau in Blois with his wife the Duchess Charlotte and his five mistresses including the newest arrival Letitia who is only 18 years old. There are several children including the Duc and Duchess’s daughter Eva as well as Solange, the illegitimate daughter of Henrietta and the Duc. The arrival of Romaine, a tarot card reader adds to ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one, while it took me a couple of chapters to get my head around all the characters, once I did I couldn't put it down. It was filled with intrigue, a bit of back stabbing and good old fashion rivalry between the women. The end of the book completely surprised me and didn't go where I expected it to go, which was fantastic.
The characters were developed well and as the story progresses we learn more about each of them and the secrets they are keeping from others. As well as
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Duc Hugo D’ Amboise has developed an infatuation with his new mistress Letitia who was bartered by her father in exchange for saving his estate. Already sharing her home with Henriette, Céline and Héloise, the Duchesse Charlotte can tolerate anything but being displaced by love and the possibility of a son. Driven to increasingly desperate tactics to be rid of Letitia, the uneasy truce that exists between the women is undermined by jealousy and their need to maintain a secure position in the Duc ...more
Shelley Carter
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
"At the halfway mark, I was hooked. The sheer audacity of Duchesse Charlotte had me angry yet amused, determined to find out what she was going to inflict on Henriette and Leticia next. There were a few times I audibly gasped, shocked by her manipulative behaviour. Think Mean Girls, but starring characters like Marie Antoinette."

full review available here:

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Steph Warren
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Life is hard when your only options in life appear to be mistress or prostitute, and the line is finely drawn between the two. Life is harder still when you are not even the favoured mistress… or wife.

Fashionable feathers are ruffled – and even plucked – when Duc Hugo d’Amboise adds a new, very young and very beautiful, mistress to his establishment. Simmering jealousies and resentm
Renny deGroot
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review was completely optional.
This historical fiction takes place in France, primarily in the early 1700’s although there are some earlier flashbacks to provide back-story. It was a time when it was common for French aristocracy to openly have a wife and several mistresses all living together under one roof.
The premise of the story, which essentially centers around the wife of the Duc Hugo d’Amboise is ‘how much can
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Kate Murdoch exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing.

Her short-form fiction has been published in literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press in 2017. Stone Circle was a First in Category winner in the Chaucer Awards 2018 for pr

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