Once Upon A Romance

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The Doctor & the Diva by Adrienne McDonnel


Cover art: The Doctor & the Diva Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Doctor & the Diva
Author: Adrienne McDonnel
Publisher: Viking
ISBN-13: 978-0-670-02188-8
Release Date: July 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Fiction
Year/Setting: 1900’s/Boston
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: None/Negligible
Adrienne's Website/Blog: www.adriennemcdonnell.com

Dear Readers:

For anyone who is truly into stories that can be described as sagas, or novels of "epic" proportions, this is the novel for you. From 1900’s Boston to the stages located throughout the operatic world of Italy, the scenery is simply stunning as we follow two characters through some extremely strange and, sometimes frightening, adventures.

We begin at the Von Kessler funeral. The Von Kessler who has passed away is a Bostonian doctor who everyone in the medical community highly respected. His funeral has an incredible turnout, including a young up-and-comer named Doctor Ravell. Ravell is a "modern" medicine man, whose career is based on the newest techniques in fertility options for couples who have a hard time conceiving. He is moving higher up the ladder in the Boston community, and many people are interested in his work. Including…one of the famous Von Kessler’s. On the way to the funeral, Doctor Ravell is asked if he can see Erika Von Kessler, who is a woman that has struggled for years to be with child. Ravell certainly doesn’t mind helping out such a prestigious family. What he doesn’t realize is how unbelievably stunning the woman truly is.

As Erika emerges from a carriage at the funeral and takes the stage, she sings the most beautiful aria that anyone has ever heard. She is the center of attention, and should be. When she and her husband arrive at Dr. Ravell’s office, he soon sees that Mr. Von Kessler seems to be far more interested in producing an heir than his wife. Not that Erika doesn’t love her husband…she truly does. It’s only that the opera also calls out to her to come across the ocean and build a name for herself. But she soon succumbs to the needs of her husband and tries with all her might – meets with Dr. Ravell weekly – to try and conceive the next Von Kessler. The Doctor is truly falling in love with Erika, and soon – after a myriad of tests – comes to the conclusion that there is literally only one way for the woman to produce a child...

Soon kicked out of Boston, Ravell finds himself on the island of Trinidad. No longer able to practice medicine in Boston because of "gossip" (some true and some completely false), he has embarked on a new life as an estate manager, leaving his medical dreams far behind. The Von Kessler’s come to visit Dr. Ravell over time, and Erika certainly shares her tales of triumph and trials with the man who she sees as her friend and savior. The romance between the two characters certainly comes forth in the novel as each of them strives with all their might to maintain respect for the ones they love.

Every chapter is a new adventure as the author brings readers from Boston to Italy, then on to island countries that offer bats flying through the night sky. The emotions are so tumultuous in this book, that sometimes the reader isn’t quite sure who to route for, or which character to truly despise. The author should be extremely proud and delighted to have turned out such an intricate, detailed story right out of the starting gate.

Until next time, Amy

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