Out of the darness...comes the light...
Catrin Price was called the Lady of the Mists, a legend of the Welsh countryside, a woman haunted by a death curse that doomed the man she married. The only way to break the spell was to buy back a Druid chalice that an ancestor sold long ago. But when Catrin redeemed it, she left a dead man behind her. Who would believe her innocent with the man's treasure in her hands? Now she lived in fear of discovery, afraid to trust, afraid to give away her heart...
Evan Newcome came to Wales to find the mysterious woman seen with his murdered friend. En route, his breath quickened when a beautiful creature stepped from a misty lake. And the moment their eyes met, passion blazed. But when Evan's dark past stepped between him and Catrin, a wall of mistrust was raised that only the magic of true love could lift...a true love that was all-consuming, all-powerful, all wonderful...
And my review:
This book is written by author Deborah Martin, who is probably better known for her work under the pen name Sabrina Jeffries. Her Deborah Martin books are good, but are a vastly different style to her SJ books. The DM books are darker and heavier, with more tension between the characters and less humor.
This book is the sequel to 'Stormswept', which told the story of Julianna of Rhys. Windswept tells the story of Evan, the son of a tenant farmer on Julianna and Rhys' estate that they sent to school. Though this book is a sequel, I think that it still worked fine as a stand-alone.
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as 'Stormswept'. The romance part of this book was good. Even though Catrin and Evan fell in love in a week, that aspect of the book didn't feel rushed. As for the action / mystery aspect of this book, well it was an amazing, non-stop story that kept your interest until the very end.
So why did I give this book only three stars? Several reasons. First, I felt that Evan's character had changed dramatically from 'Stormswept'. He was much darker, more brooding, and just not quite as likeable as before. I realize that he'd grown up, and that his difficult childhood had shaped him, but I still felt that the "special spark" that made me really like him in 'Stormswept' was missing.
My main complaint with this book is the paranormal aspect. I like paranormal romance, but with certain limitations. Guardian angels? Great. Meddling ancestors or friendly ghosts? Fine. But an ancient druid curse that's actually real? A little too creepy for me.
While the idea of a curse that would make a woman's husband die within three years of marriage, and make any sons of that marriage sterile was interesting, I kept waiting to find out that there was a logical explanation for it. But nope. It turns out that the curse is real. Spooky. I don't like aspects of a story that stray so close to witchcraft and the occult. With the huge Harry Potter phenomenon going on these days, I know that many will not agree with me, but I'm sure that there are some of us who don't want to read about such things.
I want a romance novel to leave me with a "glow", or the "warm fuzzies" when I finish it, even if the novel is a heart-wrenching one. This novel didn't do that, because of its fascination with the Druids (in other words, ancient witches). I was left feeling a little weirded and creeped out. Other people who are sensitive to such things will probably want to just avoid this book entirely.
This book was never a contender for my keeper shelf, which is a shame, since this author is very talented. However, I will still be trying out her other books, and I hope that she will stick to the other, more heart-warming books that I know she is capable of writing.