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The Angel of Blythe Hall by Darci Hannah

August 2, 2011 - Amy Phelps
A lady determined to restore her family's good name takes over her family estate but not without incident in "The Angel of Blythe Hall" by Darci Hannah. After living in the court of King James IV, Lady Isabeau Blythe is returning to her family's lands on the border of Scotland and England. Her rogue brother is a wanted man for his part in a bloody war and her father went mad after her mother's death, holding strong to her family's belief in angels and their divine protection, even going so far as to build an elaborate shrine and to believe her mother was one. Isabeau is determined to be the lady of the manor and though the list of men wanting to be the next lord of the Blythe Hall is large, Isa isn't sure of any one she wants. Traveling to the hall with her best friend, Marion, in tow, Isa soon finds trouble afoot. No one seems to know about their arrival, though a message was sent. Her lands' sheep have all gone missing. She is barely there before they are beset not only by unwelcome visitors, including her number one suitor, Sir George, and then by a band of ruffians her brother runs and who help themselves to some of the family's finery. When the king shows up, also unannounced and to claim Marion as his mistress, Isa begins to wonder if there is some sort of scheme afoot. Who has manuevered everyone here? Is it her icorriagable brother Julius? Is he trying to start another war? Or is it someone else entirely? Just when all seems lost, Isa is visited by a man she has dreamed about? Could he be an angel? Do they really walk among men? This is a solid historical novel with a bit of a mystical twist. I don't usually like historical novels, but Hannah's characters are endearing and the stories surrounding them so enthralling that they pull you in no matter what. There's romance, mystery and more than a bit of danger surrounding all of them and they keep you reading until late in the night. "The Angel of Blythe Hall" is published by Ballantine Books. It is $15 and 495 pages long.


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