|Ann Lawrence: Lord of the Mist|
Love Spell (Paperback), ISBN 0-505-52443-0
The year -- 1204
The place -- England.
The cast -- Lord Durand deMarle, newly returned from the wars, finds his wife dead and himself the presumed father of an infant girl. Her own baby dead, Cristina Le Gros, wife of merchant Simon Le Gros, wet nurses Durand's child. Hired prior to Durand's arrival, she grows to love the baby while mourning her own loss.
The first time Durand sees Christina gliding into the chapel to place flowers on his wife's bier he mistakes her for a ghost. Immediately attracted to the flesh and blood woman, Durand goes out of his way to make life in the castle more pleasant for her and the baby.
Unhappy in her marriage to the manipulative and conniving Simon, Cristina (who also makes soaps, lotions and gathers healing herbs) feels a similar attraction for Durand. But she resolves nothing will come of the feeling, despite its almost overwhelming pull.
Simon, however, lacks Christina's strong, moral core. Accused of thievery, he names the innocent Christina as his willing accomplice. King John puts them both to the test. After being cuckolded many times by the wife he thought he loved, Durand distrusts women. Can he overcome the distrust in time to save Cristina?
The answer to that question lies in the intricately fashioned, superbly unexpected twists and turns of Lawrence's plot. Peopled with easily loved or hated characters, Lord of the Mist reads as if the author lived in the neighborhood of her story and merely relates a true and believable tale of people she knew well. As in her previous historical romance, Lord of the Keep, Lawrence mixes aristocrats and common folk, gives the reader their hopes and dreams, and makes the reader care.
Patricia Lucas White
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