Hello, fellow tarts. Today I am going to review Virginia Henley's novella Smuggler's Lair in the anthology Lords of Desire.
Virginia starts her journey in stuffy Victorian England with a maiden, Tory, tolerating her stifling existence by skinny dipping instead of attending church with her brother. Tory is obsessed with history and the abandoned castle, Bodiam, where she takes her illicit swims.
An invitation for herself and her family to Bodiam by the current heir, Sir Peregrine Palmer Fuller, ignites her curiosity and gives her the opportunity to get inside the mysterious castle. What follows are some wild adventures for Tory to a hundred years in the past. In Georgian England things are far different from the repressive Victorian society that Tory has been raised in. She finds that the current Lord of Bodiam is Falcon Hawkhurst, his given name Peregrine Palmer but you can imagine why he changed it to Falcon.
Tory stays in Georgian times falling in love with Falcon, but when he is killed by a bullet to the back she plunges herself from the ramparts and finds herself back in her own time. Pulled from the River by Falcon's ancestor, Fuller, she is deliriously happy believing him to be Falcon alive and well, before she realizes she is back in her own time. She is convinced that Fuller is the reincarnation of Falcon and seeks to prove it to him. Fuller's intuitions begin to coalesce into memories and the thought that her grand accusations might be true.
The Smuggler's Lair is a poignant and touching journey teaching Tory, as well as, the reader, to be true to themselves, as well, as fighting for what they believe in. I am new to Virginia's writing, although she has been writing historical romances for decades, but this was a wonderfully sweet and sensual introduction to her outstanding writing.
Follow a 3 part interview with the wonderful author herself. Part one begins at Pixie has her way on June 8th. Part two continues at Cat's place for writing on June 15th. The interview wraps up back here, at Romantic Hearts and Sexy Tarts on June 22nd. So join us for a glimpse into the talented Virginia Henley and pick up your copy of Lords of Desire at your local bookstore.