House of Dreams

Brenda Joyce, Author
Brenda Joyce, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-26247-1
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58788-057-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58788-059-9
Hardcover - 978-1-58724-036-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58788-309-5
Paperback - 978-0-312-98143-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-312-97740-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-59600-680-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-59600-679-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-312-99885-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-312-27166-4
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4299-7601-5
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Confession, depression, possession and sexual obsession drive this story of contemporary sibling rivalry and ancient betrayal. Joyce (The Third Heiress) spices up her latest romantic suspense novel with the ghost of an enraged 16th-century countess, intent on wreaking vengeance on the two families responsible for her early and unjust demise. As the narrative opens in the present day, Cassandra de Warenne, a 32-year-old historical novelist, is unaware of the curse. Living in the family manse in bucolic East Sussex, England, with her aunt, Lady Catherine Belford, Cass has been raising her seven-year-old niece, Alyssa, daughter of Cass's beautiful, jet-setting younger sister, Tracey, who works for Sotheby's in London. When Tracey arranges a dinner party at the estate to display a 16th-century ruby necklace to potential buyers, one of the guests is Antonio de la Barca, a renowned professor of medieval studies, who believes the necklace belongs to one of his ancestors. Cass is surprised by her intense attraction to Antonio, and troubled because Antonio is Tracey's boyfriend, though it's obvious that they have nothing in common. But Antonio's role in the drama becomes far more complex when Aunt Catherine reveals a shocking family secret, and begs Cass to keep Tracey and Antonio apart lest disaster befall them. It seems the two families have been linked for centuries through Isabel de Warenne de la Barca, who was married to a Spanish nobleman in 1554 and burned at the stake on Tower Hill as a heretic a year later. Eventually, the entire de Warenne and de la Barca families gather at Antonio's family castle in Castilla, where, more than four centuries after her death, Isabel is still deviously manipulating everyone into a setting for disaster. Nicely textured characters and medieval court intrigue allow the reader to disregard a few loose ends and savor suspense that ends in romance. (Sept.)
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