CASTLE OF DOVES by Constance Heaven


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Heaven's latest historical romance is set down (rather gingerly ambiance-wise) in Spain at the beginning of the Carlist civil wars in the 1830's. Some time earlier, English Charlotte Starr had been jilted by her adored cousin Clive, who married frail, little wealthy Lucy. Now Clive announces plans to paint scenery in Spain and would Charlotte come along to keep Lucy company? Yes, indeedy, for Mother's about to marry someone horrid and Father has recently died. Also Charlotte has discovered she's fond of Lucy, whom Clive is treating abominately. It's aboard ship that Charlotte first thrills to that stirring figure of a man, the Spaniard Don Lorenzo, predictably tall, lean, dark, and with a hawk's profile. At his vineyard and estate, Don Lorenzo Castillo de Palomas keeps his beak to the grindstone protecting his household including: mothers' nice young brother Roberto, sister Teresa (for whom, unaccountably, Lorenzo seems to have a dislike), and the child Paquita, of foggy parentage. Before long Charlotte and Lucy are traipsing back and forth to the welcoming Castle of Doves, while Clive. . . well, nothing much is appearing on canvas but Clive himself appears in the damndest places and in odd, sinister company. Meanwhile, the partisans of Don Carlo, who is out to dethrone the baby Isabella II, are turning to sabotage. The Castle's vineyards are set afire; Paquita is held hostage; and anti-English mobs stone the casa of Charlotte and Lucy, who move to the Castle. On the romantic front: Lucy returns the affections of Roberto; and Charlotte is beginning to smolder around Lorenzo, who does a bit of heavy steaming on his own. It all ends with the reported death and then irritating resurrection of Clive; a flood; grand passion in a cave; and the mystery of Teresa, Paquita, and an old locket revealed. Oh, yes, there's a murder and double rescue. Routine romantic flap, with a meager historical backdrop.

Pub Date: June 4th, 1985
Publisher: Putnam