Whispering

Jane Aiken Hodge, Author
Jane Aiken Hodge, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-13213-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-6604-9
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-312-30107-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4482-1396-2
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Veteran author Hodge (Escapade) keeps this deft historical romance set in 19th-century Portugal moving at a crisp pace. Summoned from safety in England by her cruel and dour father, Caterina Gomez--half-British, half-Portuguese, in her late teens--is escorted to tumultuous Oporto, Portugal, by her cousin Jeremy Craddock and a female friend. Against a mise-en-scene of war and intrigue involving French, Portuguese and British forces, the three become enmeshed in romantic and political adventure. Jeremy is enthralled by a shady American masseuse while Caterina, who's soon threatened with life in a convent, naively agrees to gather information for rebel leader Luis Sanchez, with whom she had an affair at age 13. Meanwhile, the Duke of Wellington is to be the honored guest at a planned gala for Caterina, who has been told by Luis's grandmother not to trust her grandson. Though the narrative and characterization are occasionally sketchy, Hodge builds the tension to a dramatic (if not surprising) denouement and ably resolves all the story lines in time for a subtle ending. (June)
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