It's been a long draught for Kinsale fans. I believe I heard rumours of a crippling writers-block. Well, the dam must have broken, but because she is back and better than ever! This is one of THE MUST-READS of this Spring. The book is a marvellous tour de force for the returning author and sure will quickly win back old fans and make new!
I love heroes that are alpha (strong, dominant personalities), but the more complex, dark ones are the Gamma rogues - the males that are outside of society, that chew up the Alpha males and spit them out as a pastime, men in the genius Anne Stuart's Bad Bad Boys vein. Stuart is the Queen of the dark and deadly male, but Kinsale is shaking the leg of throne with Allegreto. He is a brilliant creation that leaps off the pages. A trained assassin, he is determined to regain his rightful place in the Italian Principality of Monteverde - and he does not care what he has to do to achieve his aim or whom he uses. And in reaching his goal, he sees Lady Elena, the lost Monteverde Princess as the perfect pawn, thus sealing her fate.
Elena is returning to Monteverde, betrothed to the man now running Monteverde. Her ship is overtaken and captured by pirates - lead by none other than Allegreto. She is first his prison, then later forced to wed him. Captive, lover, wife, Elena is naturally furious, as he is a hard man, nearly cruel, but flashes of moments when he displays a tenderness toward her begins to cause her to look part the killer veneer and see the man - the real man there - a man driven.
Take a killer and making him a hero is, as they say, "a hard row to hoe". Anne Stuart did it in her brilliant "Moonrise", a book that haunts me years after putting it down. Kinsale now does it with "Shadow Heart". It is amazing the craft and magic both writers breathe into these hardened men, yet make the women love them for what they are - just as the readers will.
Kinsale's love for this story shines, and like a master storyteller of old around the fireside, she weaves a tale that mesmerises, compels and leaves you breathless.
You may want to buy three copies of this book - 1) to read more than once 2) to give to your best friend - she will love you for it and 3) to put on your keeper shelf and treasure!!
Welcome back Ms. Kinsale!! Don't make it so long next time!!