Jane Feather has won legions of fans with her irresistible romances that deftly blend mystery and intrigue with exquisitely passionate romance.
Now the New York Times-bestselling author of The Least Likely Bride has penned another seductive tale, the unforgettable story of a beautiful noblewoman who has lost four husbands under mysterious circumstances, and the man who is sent to find out if she is an unlucky victim of fate -- or a black widow whose abundant charms hide a heart of ice....
As a lone and wealthy widow in Henry VIII's kingdom, Lady Guinevere Mallory knew that she was in a precarious position. But she never imagined that when danger arrived, it would be in the form of Hugh of Beaucaire, a man with the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. A man of such power and determination that when he rode up to Mallory Hall, intent on claiming a vast tract of her land, Guinevere couldn't suppress a frisson of fear ... or deny a shiver of anticipation.
A seasoned soldier, Hugh had seen his share of battle and known his share of women. But nothing had prepared him for the reality of Guinevere -- a woman so elegant and alluring, with luminous eyes and hair the color of palest wheat. And when she smiled her damnable smile, so filled with invitation, Hugh found himself confused, aroused, and infuriated. For he suspected that the widow had committed the blackest of crimes.
How else could a woman of eight and twenty have been so unfortunate as to bury four wealthy husbands? How else could she have managed to persuade each of them to sign a marriage contract she herself had drawn up -- documents that ensured she would inherit everything they owned upon their deaths?
As Guinevere stalls for time, Hugh begins to investigate her mysterious and tarnished past. Yet even as they try to fathom each other's motives, temptation explodes into a consuming passion, clouding their minds to the coming peril.
Whatever Hugh uncovers, he must escort Guinevere to London to face the king and the terrifying and ruthless power of the Lord Privy Seal. And if Guinevere is indeed charged with murder, Hugh knows there's only one way he can save her -- by taking the risk that he will become the next victim of the widow's kiss....
At age 28, beautiful Lady Guinevere Mallory has been widowed four times, and each bereavement has brought her more land and more wealth. Is she a murderess, a sorceress or simply a clever, though unlucky, woman? Set during the reign of Henry VIII and his dreaded minion, Thomas Cromwell, Feather's (The Least Likely Bride) latest historical romance is rich in detail and rife with intrigue. Lord Hugh of Beaucaire, himself a widower, believes his young son Robin has a legal right to some of the lands left to Lady Guinevere in the four marriage contracts she apparently wrote herself. He seeks the king's aid to secure his son's rights, and Cromwell, the king's Lord Privy Seal, encourages his investigation of Lady Guinevere. Lord Hugh does not know that the Privy Seal has plans of his own for the widow's riches. Hugh's stay on her estates gives him both reason to believe he may be right and reason to hope he is not, for he falls in love with Guinevere and her two daughters. He learns that two of her husbands apparently met their ends naturally, but discrepancies in her servants' stories about the most recent death require him to take her to London, where her saucy tongue sends her to the Tower. Will Lord Hugh save Lady Guinevere, and if he marries her, can he ever trust her? Typical of Feather's novels, the story succeeds as romantic fiction, with fine characterizations, sound historical background and an effective evocation of the precarious times when a king's favor or disfavor meant life or death. Striking cover art, romantic yet dignified, will draw in readers.