Master of Shadows
June, Sept 2007, $12.95, 286 pp.
After her father disappeared, Ariel McPherson learned that he was a gambler who left them in poverty except for a cottage in the village. Her fiancé Michael broke up with her and his father Daniel Gilchrest is struggling to keep the business afloat because her father, who was his partner, embezzled finds to fund his addiction. In the village, Ariel goes to the stream in the woods to get water for her ailing mother who believes it contains medicinal qualities.
It is there she meet Louvel who is kind to her even though he doesn’t let her see him. He offers her employment in the form of fixing up his library and she accepts. After a time, she tells him she loves him but he rejects her and sends her back to the cottage where Michael is waiting for her. He reminds her of their engagement and tells her that her father’s body has been found; washed up from the sea. She and her mother return to the city where society accepts them. Her mother is happy but Ariel is uneasy in Michael’s presence and misses Louvel, a man she never even saw. Eventually she learns the truth about Michael and Louvel and discovers the true meaning of love.
When Ariel is in the city, there is a modern day feel to the storyline; but when she is in the woods and at Louvel’s castle readers feel as if the characters are in a fairy tale. The heroine is determined to learn the truth about both men in her life even if it means going against Louvel’s decrees. Readers will enjoy this enchanting romantic fantasy as the audience will hope Ariel obtains her happily ever after.