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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Widow's Peak by Hanna Rhys Barnes

Widow's Peak by Hanna Rhys Barnes
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (194 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

When a handsome young man falls from your tree, what can a lady do but take him home, fix him up, and fall in love.

If you’re an assassin on the run, do you risk your life for a chance at happiness? Or do you pass up the love of your life?

A widow that thought her years for love had come and gone and a killer/troubadour with a past too dark to imagine are caught in a time during the reign of King Henry II when political intrigues, assassinations, power struggles, and the king’s manipulation of his subjects to his advantage were expected and accepted as a way of life.

Amy de Barnard paid the king’s fee to stay single after the death of her husband Thomas. Eight years now, she has worked to make sure Thomas’ vision was kept alive and his kindness to the villeins and serfs continued. In return, she has happy, willing workers. Edensmouth prospers. She had worked beside Thomas to establish Edensmouth and had given birth to several children. Now, she is alone, managing their vast holdings, fostering two young ladies, and is her own person.

Handsome, talented Alain de la Vierre, the “Queen’s Troubadour”, uses his attributes to gain assess into many places in order to carry out secret missions. He was the best assassin in England until his conscience stayed his hand. Now he is a wanted man. Wounded by his would-be assassin that he killed, Alain is taken to Edensmouth and cared for by Amy. His life takes on new meaning as he heals. The horrors of his past recede and his experiences emotions he never believed in before. But, he knows another assassin will come for him. His life is not his own.

The secondary characters add layers of subterfuge, ordinary life, family loyalty, social graces, and betrayal to the plot. They bring some surprising twists and turns. Just about, the time it seems possible for Amy and Alain to have a future together things happen that create a climax of note. WIDOW’S PEAK is good reading from the very first to the very last word.