Summer Darkness, Winter Light

Sylvia Halliday, Author
Sylvia Halliday, Author Zebra $18.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-8217-4922-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8217-5260-9
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Fans of historical romance will feel right at home with Halliday's (The Wicked Stranger) setting, 18th-century England, and with her florid dialogue and emotional complexities. Allegra Baniard returns incognito to the ancestral home of her once-noble family, who eight years previously had been branded as traitors, expelled from Shropshire and sentenced to indentured service in the Colonies. Believing herself to be the sole surviving Baniard, Allegra vows to avenge the skulduggery that brought her family to ruin. As payment for poaching, however, she is forced to indenture herself to Sir Greyston Morgan, the new owner of Baniard Hall. When Grey demands one year's servitude from Allegra or that she succumb to his advances, she gains favor by using her skills as a stillroom maid to cure the household's ills. As she contends with churlish servants, lecherous locals and the contest of wills with her new master, Allegra plots to avenge her family's false conviction even as she is drawn to Grey and his own secret torment. Despite its gutsy heroine, brooding hero and period details, the novel is overwrought even for the conventions of this hothouse genre. (May)
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