THE LOVE KNOT
Rebecca Brandewyne returns to her literary roots with a darkly sensual Gothic tale set on the haunting, inhospitable Cornish moors. On her way to take up her position as governess for Lord Jago Ransliegh, Verity Collier's carriage is attacked by highwayman Black Jack Raven. Though he steals a lock of her hair, she is left unscathed and rather curious about the masked man.
Once ensconced as part of the household, Verity learns the source of her concern for the sad, reserved children of Ransliegh: Their mother, Tamsyn, jumped to her death three years before. Strangely, Verity begins to hear a voice calling Tamsyn's name from the moors. One night, she is nearly run down by the earl, and is struck by his resemblance to the highwayman. Verity is determined to investigate, but she uncovers more than she expects, as the moors are a haven for highwaymen, smugglers, spies and secrets best left buried.
Reminiscent of Jane Eyre in style and content, THE LOVE KNOT is a wonderful recreation of the classic Gothic novel, complete with feisty heroine, brooding hero, a haunting locale and a mystery that shrouds everyone and everything. Brandewyne certainly knows how to draw readers into a story and keep them coming back for more of her evocative prose. SENSUAL (May, 400 pp., $6.99)