From the author of The Gypsy Madonna and The Last Voyage of the Valentina, a breathless novel that sweeps its heroine from the Cornish coast to the rugged beauty of Puglia Italy, where she discovers a shocking truth about her family and the way to save her ancestral home.
Celestria Montague always spends her summers at Pendrift Hall, the rambling, shabby mansion adorned with wisteria and clematis that has been home to the Montague family for generations. It is 1958, and the family is celebrating her father's fiftieth birthday at a lavish ball. The celebratory night ends in death and tragedy, however, and young Celestria learns that the family may lose Pendrift Hall. Her grandfather urges Celestria to play detective, to solve the mysteries surrounding the night's events, and to save the ancient mansion if at all possible. Her quest takes her to Italy's rugged and beautiful Puglia, and into the dark, cool cloisters of the Convento di Santa Maria del Mare. Here Celestria meets an enigmatic stranger and confronts unwelcome truths about her family—and herself.
Sea of Lost Love is Santa Montefiore at her very best—sensitive, sensual, and complex.
A young woman finds love and sudden maturity in this charmingly melodramatic romance from the author of The Gypsy Madonna. Tragedy strikes an upper-class English family at its Cornish manor house in 1958: Robert "Monty" Montague has vanished, leaving behind a pile of debts, a pair of shoes washed up on the beach, a drifting motorboat bearing his gold pocket watch and a note in a bottle that reads, "Forgive me." His spoiled daughter, the impossibly beautiful 21-year-old Celestria, is forced out of her shallow complacency to discover why her father, whom everyone loved and assumed to be so happy, apparently drowned himself. She follows a trail of bank statements to a seaside Italian convent converted into a family-run hotel. There, she encounters Hamish McCloud, a surly Scotsman who loathed Monty and, after a rocky start, develops a very different feeling toward Celestria. The prose is florid and fitting for the ridiculously, deliciously escapist whirlwind romance that envelopes Celestria and Hamish as the over-the-top revelations about Monty come to light.