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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Secrets by Erin Grace

Secrets by Erin Grace
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short (138 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Everyone has secrets. Some can be ruinous.

When Isabelle Barclay is left widowed at the age of twenty-five, she discovers how precarious life can be for a woman alone in the 1850s. She’s surrounded by sycophantic friends who fear her, and treacherous men determined to have her. She escapes to the wilds of the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and is rescued by an unlikely ally with her own hidden past.

She didn’t expect to find a revenge plot, a treasured friendship, or a powerful attraction to a Scottish laird determined never to love. A stormy affair and a midnight duel threaten to change Isabelle’s life forever.

Isabelle Barclay realizing that her “emotions, cast adrift in a sea of increasing desire” must be closely guarded. She must be cautious about her response to male attention.

Widowed less then twenty-four hours after being married, Isabelle Barclay realizes she will have to support herself. Well-educated but naïve about the ways of the world, especially about the willingness of some people to use others for their own purposes, Isabelle finds herself in perilous situations repeatedly.

Escaping London, after a terrifying experience with her half brother-in-law, she travels to Scotland as Lady Rutherford’s companion. Once there, she confronts a dilemma that she does not know how to handle. She has no idea how to sort out her contradictory feelings about Major Charles Avisford Gainnes, recently returned from India and new laird of Hawthorne House. To Isabelle he looks like an avenging angel, ruthless, intimidating, handsome, powerful, and primal. However, energy radiates from him that excites her and his touch makes her tingle.

Charles Gainnes, long ago, decided to never marry. Love and affection were pointless emotions that ended up bringing misery because rejection always came. He has his mother and father as proof of it.

Erin Grace weaves a tapestry of a tale about secrets that encompass two generations. Isabelle is the new bright thread in the design. With her innocence, she brightens the somber tones that depict cruelty, depravity, heartaches, and clandestine love. Woven subtly into the design are warm colors of friendship and loyalty that have endured hardship and lasted through the years.

Erin Grace creates an undercurrent of tension with the opportunist Sebastian St. James and the diabolical half brother-in-law both in pursuit of Isabelle. These two are never far from the reader’s mind as Isabelle and Charles, a truly conflicted person, interact with each other.

Lady Rutherford and her dear friend Donald MacGreggor, laird of Inverness and neighbor to Charles, create a new layer of intrigue as they deem it necessary to clear up some of the secret details of the past that have affected Charles’ life for many years.

As Charles comes to terms with the truths of his past and Isabelle decides what she must do to make her way in the world as a young widow, SECRETS takes on a new intensity that makes exciting reading.