ALMOST INNOCENT

Author(s): 

Formerly titled Brazen Whispers, this Jane Feather novel is returning to print after more than a decade.

Magdelan is a woman of powerful innocence who carries the tainted blood of her treacherous mother, Isolde de Beauregard, and the proud breeding of her father, John of Gaunt. As a child, Magdelan is cared for by her guardian Guy de Gervais, while awaiting her wedding to his nephew Edmund.

Magdelan grows into a sensual young lady whose childhood crush on Guy slowly turns into a womans desire. Guy has always admired his spirited ward, not realizing that he has been bewitched by her charms. Magdelan hides her love, being an obedient wife to Edmund until he is attacked and left to die by their enemies.

John entrusts Guy to see that Magdelan takes possession of Edmunds fiefdom in France and holds it for England. Guy does that and a lot more.

Believing Edmund dead, Guy gives in to his pent-up desires and convinces Magdelan to do the same. They become lovers, defying the rules of society and their king. Their love blinds them to the schemes of Magdelans cousin Charles dAuriac. Charles becomes relentless at finding ways to drive a wedge between Magdelan and Guy.

Then Edmund is found alive. Trapped between loyalty and love, Magdelan, Guy and Edmund become pawns in Charles evil game to take control of their lives and repay an ancient debt.

This novel combines elements of mainstream and historical fiction with lusty romance. Taking a cue from the bittersweet love triangle of the Arthurian legend, Ms. Feather has constructed a complex plot with fascinating characters and a rich, vivid setting. Some readers, however, might find Magdelans wanton seduction of Guy (when she knows in her heart of hearts that Edmund is still alive) disturbing. Very Sensual (Reissue, May, 440 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin