Anya’s Romance Book Review #2

And then for a total change of pace (and scenery) I moved onto two books that coincidentally both had a “twin” theme. I can’t say too much without revealing the twists and turns of each – but I loved both books, for different reasons.

Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt was exactly the (one of many) types of books that I love – the windswept, mysterious Cornish setting, the Gothic overtones evident almost from the first page, the creeping sense of unease, and most importantly, the governess. The hero was also a highlight, if you like (as I do) a guy who is full of secrets, acts in a way that could be misinterpreted and – well, that would be telling! I just loved this story.
Then I picked up The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb – a chance find that I chose simply on the basis on the cover and the back-cover summary. I was not disappointed – it was the sort of mystery I love with a huge old home, sinister happenings and family secrets in generations past. It, too, had twins (and romance) in the storyline but the modern generation characters were also compelling. A chance find like this one can so often go either way but this was an above average read with a detailed plot and a lot of different threads.

Reading Bride of Pendorric inspired me to also read Victoria Holt’s The Black Opal, – no twins, but there was a governess and another great storyline. I just love the old classic Gothic Romances (among others). The settings and the subtle descriptive way Victoria Holt illustrates her characters makes them so vivid, and I enjoyed the way the storyline moved between Australia and England (of course, like any good heroine, Carmel has love interests in both countries with one of the biggest dilemmas being who to choose!) I found Carmel to be a particularly believable heroine who acted true to herself and certainly did not make orthodox choices. Although I had guessed the ending (not like Bride of Pendorric!) The Black Opal was still a great read.

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