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Monday, October 13, 2008

Lady Claire’s Cavalier

Lady Claire’s Cavalier by Fiona Neal
Publisher: Awe-struck Books
Genre: Historical, Suspense
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Jasmine

After ten years of exile, Lady Claire returns to England, full of hope and optimism. Unfortunately, she unwittingly finds herself thrust into a vortex of terror and intrigue when she overhears a plot to assassinate the new king, Charles II. To catch all the traitors, she marries Lord Barrington, a prime suspect, and spies for the Crown.

Though the dashing cavalier obeys the king's command to wed, he resolves to stay out of Claire's bed because he believes she's one of the king's mistresses. Besides, he's heard rumors Claire poisoned her first husband. Since a woman almost murdered him once, he's in no hurry to become a victim again--no matter how desirable he finds his new bride.

Lady Claire Sudbury is happy to be home back in England after ten years away hiding with her elderly husband in Holland. After the unjustly death of her mother, and with her life in danger from the neighboring Lord Barrington who is trying to kidnap her to marry her to his son for her wealth, Claire had married the very elderly (almost seventy) Lord Sudbury for protection. After her dear husband’s passing and the return of King Charles to England, she boldly returns as one of the wealthiest woman in the country. One day on the palace grounds she hears of a plot to kill King Charles and the new Lord Barrington (her old nemesis’ son) was implicated as well. To help find the truth she agrees to marry Lord Barrington to glean information and be an inside-woman. What she did not count on was that she would actually like Lord Barrington.

Christopher Barrington has enough troubles already. After the war and with taxes he has very little money to run his manor with. And when he asks King Charles, whom he fought alongside faithfully, he has no solution either. Faced with dilemma, he is shocked when King Charles calls him one day and states that he is to marry Lady Claire Sudbury. Reluctant to marry her because everybody knows that she is king’s mistress, he at first refuses the offer. But when the king very strongly resists his refusal and when he thought about all the money coming with the marriage, he agrees. But when someone starts killing off the members in his family and an attempt is made on both their lives, will Christopher realize how much she means to him?

Lady Claire’s Cavalier was the story of two people who overcame all odds to find true love. Filled with unusual characters and unusual storyline, this story will transport you back to historical England, the balls, the conspiracy and the facades of that time. I especially enjoyed the fact that the author portrays the woman as almost an equal in the story. Usually, the woman is the destitute one and the man is knight in shining armor. In this novel, both Claire and Christopher needed each other. It was also an interesting read because the historical event around which this story is centered is a true story. So this adds to the authenticity and excitement of the novel. For all historical fiction lovers, this story will surely capture your attention. Highly recommended!