TREASON'S GIFT by Pamela Belle


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 Fourth in Belle's 17th-century St. Barbe romantic adventures, this one featuring the stormy marriage of Louise and Sir Alexander St. Barbe at the time of the bloodless invasion of England by William of Orange. In the summer of 1686 at Wintercombe, the St. Barbe ancestral home, Louise grieves for a stillborn son, and her depression begins to sour a hitherto jolly union. There'll be rows, sulks, and even blows before Alexander storms off--only to get disgracefully bagged, have a ripe affair in Bath, and rage on to Holland. Helping along the way are Alexander's plain and plain-spoken sister Phoebe of Bath, who houses Louise and Alexander's natural son, Lucas, and Grandmother Silence (of Wintercombe, 1988). Meanwhile, lurking nastily is cousin Charles, who wants both Wintercombe and Louise and who has tried before to erase Alexander (A Falling Star). All affairs of the heart, however, are caught up in a larger swirl of events as James II is about to be dethroned and as anti-Catholic, nationalist sentiment swells--a movement clandestinally aided by Alexander and a courtier who proposes to Phoebe (to her bafflement). Much muttering of plots, a royal progress, until finally the wind stands fair for England, the couples pair off, and Charles blazes to his doom. A restful cruise for the St. Barbe faithful and period-romance insatiables.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-08913-9
Page count: 560pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993