by Patricia Veryan
I remember not being overly impressed with this one, although I apparently did give it 5 stars. But upon the re-read, it is now one of my favorites. I didn’t remember a whole lot about it so there were plenty of surprises and suspense along the way.
I loved Zoe. She was just such a normal girl. It made me both fear for her and like her all the more. Piers was very lovable as well: What relief to have an uncomplicated hero. Most of the time for me, a little angst goes a long way. The romance between them was sweet, and did have some tension. They went from hostility to friendship in a believable and delightful way. Of course I knew where it was going but how would true love finally be revealed?
**bit of a spoiler**
The characterization of Clara Buttershaw was just a treat. She goes from comical (Veryan’s version of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and to me, just as brilliant a portrayal) to scary and sinister. The other villainess(s)are not scary or comical, but I viewed them with suspicion and unease from the beginning.
There were plenty of thrills and chills, Suspense, humor, and one of the better romances. Also, the setting stayed put. Sometimes parts of her road adventure novels get a bit tiresome. It barreled to a rousing climax that really paid off. In addition it had a lot of participation by our beloved continuing heroes and heroines, though I wish Gwen Rossiter had played a role. I am relieved that people in high places are taking Rossiter’s group and their conspiracy theory seriously. It finishes with some loose ends getting tied up, a little tragedy, and an endearing and very romantic proposal. I will be going forward right away to the conclusion of our saga, The Mandarin of Mayfair. I can’t believe I don’t remember who the squire is!**5 out of 5 stars**
September 27, 2018