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Bliss ❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Bliss Author Judy Cuevas – Hannah Van Evan was a young American who wished to learn about the world and to make her way in it She was determined to improve herself but was often baffled by exclusive turn of the century high soc Hannah Van Evan was a young American who wished to learn about the world and to make her way in it She was determined to improve herself but was often baffled by exclusive turn of the century high society Nardi de Saint Vallier was a gifted young Frenchman of noble blood who had given up his passion for sculpting Hell bent on self destruction he resigned himself to a life without beauty—and an engagement without loveThen Hannah came into his life They met during a Normandy summer on the grounds of an old French chateau Hannah was cautious but intrigued by the somber Frenchman Nardi thought the American girl hopelessly naive But slowly her indomitable spirit cast a ray of light upon the darkness in his soul—and opened both of their hearts to the infinite possibilities of love.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 373 pages
  • Bliss
  • Judy Cuevas
  • English
  • 09 October 2016
  • 9780515115871

About the Author: Judy Cuevas

See profile for Judith Ivoryhttpswwwgoodreadscomauthorshow.

10 thoughts on “Bliss

  1. Christina ~ Brunette Reader Christina ~ Brunette Reader says:

    Paris and somewhere in Normandy 1903 Life imitates art far than art imitates life as Wilde would have put it around those days and the Aesthetic adage seems to perfectly suit Bernard “Nardi” de Saint Vallier’s case lately Former enfant prodige on the sculpting scene in fin de siècle Paris his reality started to deteriorate soon following as his art lost inspiration a couple of years before and in the best decadent fashion he’s been able to find a sort of surrogate solace by drinking ether keeping himself in a constant state of stupor and numbing his frustrations in elusive synthetic bliss Now thirty two and on the brink of complete annihilation his blue blooded but impoverished relatives have decided to save him with the side benefit of engaging him off to a rich heiress and thus replenishing the house coffers But back from a forced sojourn in a Swiss clinic while covering the last steps on the path to rehabilitation at the family château in the country Nardi meets Hannah Van Evan from Florida vivacious full of joie de vivre outré ”Hannah with an h” arrived at the old pile of charming stones to catalogue its valuables and to show him that maybe an authentic kind of bliss could be within his reach if only he wanted to Oh la la they don’t write ‘em like this anyWhere I was expecting a rather gloomy though already knowing the author extremely well written tale of ruined lives overblown artistic blues and melodramatic last minute love induced salvations brighten up toward the end by some improbable happier notes just to assuage the genre’s staples I have instead encountered an introspective and eventually uplifting story filtered through a subtly humorous and disenchanted glance that I found irresistible Both leads are imperfect ambitious and romantic but in opposite ways like two sides of the same coin If Nardi interprets these ualities through a blasé facade Hannah appears spontaneous and candid though they can’t escape the recognition slowly enveloping themJudy CuevasJudith Ivory is a uniue writer It’s rare to have such a strong correspondence among words feelings and imagery only Laura Kinsale comes to my mind in this sense and the language flows with a sophisticated and smooth rhythm beautifully evoking the mannerism and the spirit of the Belle Époue setting It may reuire patience and attention to details than usual when a character’s personality or eroticism can be revealed and conveyed by the rustling of a petticoat an extravagant alpaca coat or the shape of a marble statuette but the result is rewarding and to savour word by word line by line As sparkling and bittersweet as the champagnes and as fragrant and alluring as the savons the characteristic affiches popular at the time were trying to sell you it’s not one of those eventful romances and though the storyline is engaging and complex in a immaterial way finely explored emotions and feelings remain in and on themselves the driving force of the plot

  2. Sam (AMNReader) Sam (AMNReader) says:

    Reread 26 with Joanna Whiskey Still near perfectAstonishingly magnificent I have had a few experiences reading romances that I think I can't possibly put my review into words after I complete the novel This again will be inadeuate Not only have I used the majority of my brain power up in the reading and rereading and BR discussion of this book simultaneously because it's that kind of book but I have too many thoughts to harness I'm not going to tell you the plot I will tell you it's not often for me that a book manages to be sensuous funny romantic and intellectually stimulating all in one 310 page package That my swoons exist for both hero and heroine as they should That the setting and details are as lush and evocative as the language That it all serves a purpose That somehow despite the underlying plot this book doesn't feel angsty or overburdened Essentially Bliss was sweeping I've been swept Everything enduring is French Everything good in life Food style art poetry he raised one brow love He put on a clowning smugness We invented love of courseShe laughedNo no I do not pull your leg During the Middle Ages the French came up with the idea of love as we know it today I could show you literature I could prove it He made a mock modest face But I won't rub it in We also invented diplomacyThanks to Gaufre and Angry for the buddy read still in progress but I'm greedy like that never would've seen this book had it not been for Christina's beautiful review last year and Gaufre 5 stars

  3. WhiskeyintheJar WhiskeyintheJar says:

    I read this as a buddy read for uotes comments and discussion Bliss Buddy Read Dis non I am wrung out from reading this I uoted and talked a lot in the buddy read so I'm going to let that for the most part talk for what I thought about this bookThis was published in 1995 it has a bit of different rhythm to it The heroine and hero are solidly introduced on their own and their characters are established before they meet around 35% mark this completely worked for me and if you're looking for depth to your characters that creates an incredibly emotional story then it will work for you tooThese characters weren't perfect our hero is addicted to ether has some struggles with not being the hot talented artist any and our heroine is escaping a reputation that gave her a nickname Miss Seven Minutes in Heaven and wants a romantic easy life in Paris It was the underlining truth to these emotions and characters that will have me thinking about these characters for a long long time It was passages like this In the musty dark of the attic Hannah felt heartened at last And so very impressed with the real Nardi de Saint Vallier He might not be a prince but he was heroic a man ready to face his nemesis all that had worn him down before Better than the fancy trousers and pretty coats that had once impressed her this man had a magnificent fortitudethat had me absorbedThe author brilliantly interweaves societal issues and family dynamics through characters' thoughts and actions; these characters were not perfect but they grewSecondary characters had me desperately wanting a Director's Cut of the book so I could get a thorough look at themIf you can find this book grasp it with both hands I've rarely read a book that had such amazing depth to emotions Read this read this read this then go the buddy read and comment so I can talk about this book and for years to come You should know Hannah that I would marry you over and over as many times as it takes to make the world see I love you

  4. K. K. says:

    Any time I even think of Judith Ivory aka Judy Cuevas' writing all that comes to mind is that I'm totally in LOVE with her sense of prose We've all experienced the feeling that reading in it's best sense is a movie that runs through the mind of the reader Ivory makes this happen for me 100% Her writing is clear and concise and instantly places the reader at the scene of whatever her fancy is for any particular story Bliss opens with Hannah Van Even applying for a position with Ms Amelia Besom a well known arts and antiuities appraiser The year is 1903 and Besom travels in the highest of society circles Hannah has just been let go without references from her work as a housekeeper for an uppercrust family Rumors swirl around her firing and Besom is of course savvy to the gossip Unfortunately she's morbidly curious of the details and Hannah isn't giving up anything about the incident regardless of her desperation for the position Besom is offering Ivory immerses the reader instantly in this very first scene painting a vivid picture of the room Hannah's dress Besom's overwhelming stiffness and grilling of her right down to the lighting and tension passing between the women and I found myself turning the pages one after another without distraction Hannah finds herself by shear luck of the draw of Besom's odd attraction and curiosity of her accompanying Besom to France to assess the estate of an aristocratic family fallen on hard times Hannah's a dreamy sort of girlwoman that craves adventure and credibility though she comes from humble beginnings She finds herself on the doorstep of the ancestral chateau home of the de Saint Valliers and is in wonder of the place and all its treasures despite it's fallen into complete disrepair The family having entered a deal to save their heritage and lifestyle by marrying off their title by means of our hero to a daughter of a wealthy businessman who can bail them out of their montetary crisis The bussinessman part of the sterotypical nouveau riche of the day craves respectibility by means of the uppercrust art community and by marrying his spinster daughter to a famous name such as the de Saint Valliers believes he's achieved that particular societal pedigree Bernard Nardi de Saint Vallier was once a great and gifted sculptor who had climbed to the heights of fame and fortune at a very young age an artistic protegy However the utter emotion and attachment he put into his work as an artist overwhelmed his ability to deal with the responsibility of success and he fell into boosting his courage to deal with the stresses of life by becoming an ether addict At first he only used it to calm his nerves before attending a showing of his work but the dependent he became upon it the he lost his muse for his art and eventually fell into the complete cycle of addiction Now with his family's determination to maintain all their lifestyles on Nardi's back his overbearing and overmeticulous older brother rules Nardi's life with an iron fist The two brothers are complete opposites one who sees all things in life as black and white while Nardi of course sees life through a multitude of colors After entering into the marriage deal Nardi's brother commits him unsuccessfully to an institution to dry him out and when that fails installs him in a cottage on the chateau estate with 24 hour guards to keep him from obtaining ether prior to the wedding Although Hannah has been warned off to stay away from the crazy brother on the estate her curiosity overwhelms her and she finds not a disfigured incoherent monster summoned up by her over active imagination in the cottage at the edge of the estate but instead the complete opposite a stunningly handsome and charming man that she's immediately drawn to Although Nardi at first is too caught up in his obession like any addict of acuiring ether Hannah's fresh view of life enchants him and he can't help but get caught up in her in turn The two clearly have a chemistry that is evident from their first meeting Ivory seldom writes sterotypical herosheroines and this story is no exception Though Nardi is certainly portrayed as the overly sensitive and cynical artist Ivory also shows his rebellion against his family's lifelong dependence on him and the strain it puts on his self worth Nardi definitely has reason to try and run away from all the planning and plotting his family has done in taking away his independence while exploiting his talent Basically they've ruined the joy he had in being an artist by weighing him down with business success in turning over his art There's never any doubt in the reader's mind why Nardi became an addict and I had every bit of sympathy for his situation I loved how Ivory showed us the path that Nardi takes to dig his way out of his addiction and his strength and insite in understanding that no one can fix him; only he could fix himself Hannah is uite naive to Nardi's world and the larger world in general Although she's smart and plucky she has a hard time staying out of the social situations that propriety demands in the upper social classes she so craves to live amongst Her facination with Nardi and his world leads her down the same path and eventually leads her to yet again be uestioned on her behavior by her employer Amelia Besom Regardless Hannah's fresh and straight forward love of life rubs off on not only Nardi reawakening him to the beauty that can be living and loving but it even chips away at the outter crust of the hardened and stiff Amelia Besom Hannah and Nardi's love story is sweet tender turbulent and unconventional Ivory writes every character with perfect precision and leaves the reader with incredible insight into each of their personalities and how they fit the story The culmination of all the plotlines in the end is beautiful and believeable and Ivory takes you right up to the end wondering how Nardi is going to get out of the contracted marriage agreement in a satisfying way to the story If I could wish for anything at all on this read it would have been a thorough epilogue Although Ivory leaves no hanging plotlines and the epilogue does make the HEA clear I couldn't help crave just a bit traditional details in the epilogue to satisfy my romantic needs wrap it up with that usual nice tidy bow Ahh but alas it's not the style of Ivory which is certainly why she's so individual and memorable ; I realize this is a tough book to get ahold of but if you have an opportunity to read it you can be assured it's a rich and entertaining experienceK

  5. Searock Searock says:

    Judy Cuevas aka Judith Ivory is phenomenalHave you ever felt like you opened the perfect book for the perfect moment for maximum enjoyment?That's me right now having just finished this wonderful book The novel isDark and lightSimple yet layered and complexAccessible while feeling at times esotericas though I have a special grasp of it meaning and can to see into it's brilliance It felt personal for me I could relate to the metaphors and messagesIt plays with themes of art and beauty; criticism failure and arrogance; addiction judgment innocence and temptation No one is truly bad and no one is purely good oh my I love when even the side characters are so well drawn Here they are vivid strong and well meaning but so very flawedThe whole of it is brilliant masterful and soulful The issues in and around addiction are woven through the text but with a light hand If you have been touched by the addiction dynamic in your own life this book holds even greater appeal and the text meaning The book isn't about addiction but the Hero is both an active and recuperating ether addict in the story or whatever the term would have been in 1903 I was anxious the whole time I was reading because I loved both lead characters and felt the inevitable big misunderstanding or forced separation coming around every corner which is the usual impetus for the plot climaxresolution I was so nervous about it that I interfered with my own enjoyment of this uniue arc in which the characters worked together for their own ending Is that a spoiler? I hope not I hope it spoils you to NOT look for ghosts around corners that don't really exist There is tension there is conflict there might even be some tiny little separation in there somewhere but the author does not wreck you in the process Ivory said in a roundtable on the All About Romance site Complex plots don't mean a separation of the protagonists at all It just means multiple conflicts going on at once was certainly an example of that statement and I for one loved itBig shout out to my friend Crista who blessed me with this book I will be paying it forward For those who enjoy the dimension and tone of Kinsale and Chase this is a must try

  6. Meredith Duran Meredith Duran says:

    This book has remained my favorite historical romance since I started making such lists Nobody writes like Judith Ivory AKA Judy Cuevas I'd heard that she stopped writing due to back trouble If she ever put out a call for someone to type as she dictated I'd offer to do it for free

  7. Petra Petra says:

    Oh how much I enjoyed this book Every page was like a gift that I have always been searching for When I saw page of contents1 The Ether Drinker 2 The Radish Eater3 DisintoxificationI laughed and knew I will love this story The ingenuity and sense of humor of the author leaps out straight from the beginning I would describe the plot as a juicy peach and its main characters as many layered onions Hannah is an American girl working for art appraisal lady From the beginning there is mystery to Hannah some people try to figure her out while others have clearly made up their minds about who she is As readers we are only a little better off knowing her The same it is with Nardi Bernard He is revealed to us slowly yet he is being very honest about who he is It’s just that he is so lost in his addiction he doesn’t even know who he is any As the ether drinker becomes a radish eater the beauty of his character starts shinning brighter and brighter Until Hannah along with me is totally in love with him“Heavens yes was she ever in potatoes; was she ever in hot hot water Hannah felt peeled boiled baked puréed in love” Oh their romance so beautiful but never too sweet or too cheesy There is French country side there is art there are drugs Seine and dancing during lovely summer evenings There is also supple humor through out the book that kept me grinning the whole time “And Hannah hereby ordained herself as “someone” accepting this mission as wholeheartedly as a young nun in a first hour of her calling” Only her role could not have been further from a nun Judy Cuevas Judith Ivory seems like a poetry lover and she writes her books with beautiful layers of metaphors and deep wisdom of life There are many fluffy overly sweet romances This book is like a top uality needle lace intricately woven sexy and feminine I am very happy I found this book in print it seems it has became a sort of rarity and I will treasure it for many years to come

  8. Sarah Mac Sarah Mac says:

    Verbose slow I did like the setting the era an old French chateau in the early 1900s but there was no plot to speak of Despite the plotless nature of the story my biggest complaint is the characters Hannah was an idiot Nardi was a whiner Also I don't care if he never outgrew his childhood pet name Nardi is a pansy ass monicker for your hero At one point we had a 25 page scene of conversation between the Hh as they discussed turnips then translating telegrams from French to English then back to turnips And eventually back to telegrams No I'm not kidding I had to keep reading just to see how long the exhaustive nothingness was exploited Because this is a romance novel I'm assuming there was supposed to be sexual tension in this particular scene but I didn't give a rat's ass either way Hannah is too stupid to control her problematic hormones Nardi is wondering how she can be so dumb that she doesn't realize he's manipulating her into bringing him ether to feed his addiction Now that's a winning combination of protagonists Seriously the angst level in this book was off the charts Not uite Sherry Thomas angst but definitely Cecilia Grant angst so if you're a fan of either ST or CG I'd recommend this book But if you demand a romance with actual Things Happeningtm skip it

  9. *The Angry Reader* *The Angry Reader* says:

    My first buddy read with Sam and Gaufre Such a wonderful experience There are so many things about a book that irritate me Lying by omission A naive silly heroine A character making bad decisions that then come back to bite them on the ass Flowery descriptive writing full of imagery I don’t deem “necessary” to the book This book had all of that And it was magnificent It was like Anne of Green Gables with addiction and Frenchness and lurve I loved the story within the story The vivid images that said as much or than the characters I adored the innate sweetness And the character growth was believable and incredibly enjoyable This read like an enjoyable classic It had layers on layers that were delightful to peel away And all of this was done with the utmost delicacy Characters and writing with shading and shadows A story that engrosses you from the prologue Beauty shining off of every page Definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read

  10. Linda Linda says:

    bliss nounA state of perfect happiness typically so as to be oblivious of everything else ether nounA flammable liuid Borrowed from Old French ether in turn from Latin aethēr meaning “the upper pure bright air”In the world of Bernard de Saint Vallier ‘Nardi’ bliss was ether Introduced to the substance when stress was at an all time high the young man became addicted Neither cocaine nor morphine provided the exuisite acceptance that this pleasant smelling and colorless liuid gave him Before long he was immersed in a dark and decadent reality Nardi was the answer to his family’s prayers The youngest of four children he developed into a brilliant sculptor His pieces were sought after by members of high society and provided his family with their necessary income But as an artist he was his own worse criticWhen Hannah Van Evan and Nardi met for the first time he was in recovery and watched over by bodyguards services his older brother had bought Hannah an American worked for the prudish Amelia Besom She helped tag and catalog items of the de Saint Vallier family that were to be auctioned Within days the young woman became Nardi’s bright spot He was fascinated with her naivety and briskness In a strange way at least for me the storyline had both highs and lows similar to using a substance If I did not know better I thought Ms Cuevas intentionally wrote the story in this fashion If so kudos to the author Nardi was not always likable but familial bits and pieces kept surfacing I understood his attraction to ether Oh the pressure he must have enduredOddly I would have liked background a history of Mrs Besom She was an insecure snoot And Hannah? It has been several days since I finished this romance and she is still in my mind If you enjoy angst with your historical romance search for this turn of the century paperback As far as I know it is not available in e format

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