Cumbria, England -- Present day; Windermere Castle, Cumbria, England -- 1315
Twenty-five year-old Isabel Herbert flees from America to her late grandmother's country home in England to heal from a miscarriage and the subsequent breakup of her marriage. While exploring the countryside, Isabel discovers a jewel-encrusted chalice and is stunned when a mist encloses her in a romantic vision of a man and woman obviously deeply in love. Isabel so wishes she was the recipient of the glowing emotion the man in the vision directs toward the woman Isabel assumes is his wife. His very pregnant wife.
As the inexplicable scene fades, Isabel is caught up in a storm and thrust back in time, awakening to the man from the vision -- who claims he is her husband. Isabel is confused and astonished to find herself occupying the body of the woman she also saw in the chalice's vision. She soon realizes her predicament is not due to an overactive imagination, or wishful thinking. She must now play a dangerous game pretending amnesia until she can find the chalice and somehow return to her own time...and body.
Born on the wrong side of the blanket, Hunter, formerly of Hawkhaven, now of Windermere, has achieved his life's goal -- a gift of a castle from King Edward, and the woman of his dreams. Detra, however, soon turns into the wife of his nightmares, but Hunter is confident he can turn her affections toward him. After an argument over Hunter's precious chalice, and a fall that injures Detra's head, Hunter suddenly realizes his optomism has come to fruition -- Detra is a changed woman. Claiming she has no memory of him or their marriage, Hunter promptly sets out to seduce his lady wife into falling in love with him. But, what will happen when Detra regains her lost memories?
Hunter is one of the most strong, honorable, and sympathetic heroes to ever grace the pages of a romance novel. Isabel is a woman torn between doing what she knows is right or giving in to her own needs and wants. Ms. Landry's character development, from main players to secondary, is flawless.
Although the first half of THE WISHING CHALICE is somewhat slow-paced, the originality, premise of the story, and characterization held my attention. Numerous twists and turns then picked up the pace and led to a most satisfying conclusion.
I highly recommend THE WISHING CHALICE as a true romantic love story filled with intrigue, betrayal, and the bonding of two people who truly belong together, no matter what the era, or setting. I haven't read Ms. Landry's first novel, A PERFECT LOVE, but am keeping my eyes open for a copy!