If you like Historical Novels with believable characters, settings, conflicts and a touch of romance, I readily recommend this book.
This is the first book in what promises to be a memorable trilogy.
In Dark Deceit, Cathie Dunn has incorporated all the necessary characters, settings, conflicts and resolutions required to ensure a captivating and easy to read historical novel.
Set amidst the unrest of an a civil war c.1140's, the throne of England is up for grabs. King Stephen has been imprisoned Empress Matilda seeks to be crowned Queen in his place.
Following a battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, under-sheriff of Gloucester is on route to join the Empress on her route to London to secure the thrown. En-route, he and his men happen upon a knight under ambush. They enter the fray and rescue the stricken knight, but not before the final throw of an axe lands, striking what would become a fatal blow.
Geoffrey and his men are convinced that this was no ordinary ambush. He suspects the attackers to have been mercenaries, but who had ordered the attack and why?
Leaving the gravely injured knight in capable hands, Geoffrey sets out with his Sergent Guy to carry the news to the knights Daughter, Alleyne de Bellac, and to fulfil his promise to protect her and his estate until his return.
Expecting a damsel in distress, Geoffrey is captivated by the strength and beauty of the young woman he finds awaiting her fathers return. Alleyne is also captivated by the man who brings news of her fathers attack.
When news of her father's death arrives just days after Geoffrey, Alleyne is faced with an uncertain future. Un-married, she has no protector for her or her estates. Aware that Geoffrey is eager to join with the Empress on her procession to London and convinced that her neighbouring Lord is behind her fathers death, Alleyne sends word to the only man she feels she can trust, Will d’Arques. Alleyne had always considered him to be her fathers closest friend and secretly held thoughts of him becoming the perfect suitor.
Dark Deceit is a captivating read that draws you in the the plot of civil war, murder, confusion, intrigue and a sprinkling of romance, just for good measure.
An easy and enjoyable read...roll on book #2.