Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Author: Jeri Smith
Publisher: Diamond/Charter (March 1993)
ISBN: 1557738718, EAN: 9781557738714
Page Count: 180 pages
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 3/5 stars, An Enjoyable Gothic Romance, But Nothing Special
Anne Durham had lived her whole life with her eccentric painter father. She didn’t remember her mother, who died when she was young, and her older sister, Catherine, lived with her aunt and uncle, so she did not know her either. So when her father suddenly dropped dead, Anne did not know what to do. Her father had been on his way to Tavistock Castle, in Britain, to try and discover what had happened to Catherine, who had disappeared while excavating a dig there. With no other recourse, Anne felt that a slight deception on her part was justified and she set sail for Tavistock Castle in her father’s place.
When she arrived, the Marquess of Tavistock was upset that her father had not come for he was counting on his niece’s love of art to cure her of her peculiar illness. His niece had stopped speaking the night that Catherine disappeared and had strange fits and nightmares. Anne was determined to get some answers, however, so she persuaded the Marquess to give her a trial time period so that she could prove that she was a talented painter as well. Within a matter of days, Anne found herself embroiled in the peculiar events surrounding the estate. She was convinced that the Marquess’ niece could speak if she wanted to, but something kept her silent – maybe the mysterious masked & cloaked figure who drifted into her room at night? As Anne became more involved in the life of the Marquess & his niece, she became more and more convinced that her sister had been the victim of foul play – but what role had the Marquess played in her disappearance?
This is a classic gothic romance with the dark, dangerous and brooding hero and the penniless, but talented young woman who is in terrible danger, but doesn’t trust the man that she loves. All of the pieces were there, but there was just nothing special about the story and I was not emotionally involved with the characters. Still, it is well written and moves at a fairly brisk pace so it was a quick, fun read. Easily read & easily forgotten.
The romance in this book relies more on heaving bosoms, clutching embraces and forbidden kisses. Appropriate for readers ages 12 and up.