Jove, Dec 2007, $7.99
In coastal Eastbourne, England Lord Ryder Sherbrooke sees a small female child lying unconscious in the alley, obviously the victim of a terrible beating. Unable to walk away he brings the almost lifeless child into his home and provides her with the best of care. Over the next couple of months the girl recovers, but fails to utter one word. That is not one sound until six months after her rescue, she sings: “I dream of beauty and sightless nigh I dream of strength and fevered might I dream I’m not alone again But I know of his death and her grievous sin”. She has no idea what the sad refrain denotes, why she was beaten and left to die or even her real name. She uses Rosalind de la Fontaine.
Over a decade passes under the care of the Sherbrookes when in 1835 her adopted family sponsor their ward’s first season. At a ball she meets an Earl, Nicholas Vail, who has just come to London after spending time in Portuguese controlled Macau, China. They are attracted to one another but in an atypical way and soon with Grayson’s help find a sixteenth century book written by a wizard who claimed that a Captain Jared Vail owes him his life for eternity. As Rosalind is the only one who can read the coded tome, strange events occur that Grayson believes flow through Rosalind and that eerie song he never forgot as he fears for the life of his charge from things he does not comprehend.
This is an interesting paranormal historical romantic mystery filled with several fascinating twists that keeps the audience’s attention wondering what next although the title gives away too much. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as Rosalind’s past begins to unveil even as her guardian and the man who loves her worry about her safety. Fans will appreciate this beguiling nineteenth century thriller with mysterious roots in the sixteenth century.