Devonshire, January 1815.
Marie-Ange, the young widow of an English officer, accepts an inheritance in France only to find that everything in Beauregard is not as it seems. Why is the sinister Malleval so obsessed with her family? And could her darling Christopher still be alive? Marie-Ange finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, intrigue, and mystical possession, and the only person to whom she can turn for help is Capitaine Hugo Saintclair.
Yet the enigmatic Hugo represents a danger of a different kind …
Angel Heart is a lavish mix of romance, adventure, and a hint of the supernatural, largely set in France against the turbulent background of Napoleon’s return from Elba
Marie-Ange received word from the mysterious Malleval, a distant relation of hers, who has a bequest for her from her mother’s family all she has to do is go over to France to sign to the paperwork. Malleval has sent cavalry officer, Capitaine Hugh Saintclair, who has his own more personal reasons to have taken on the job of being a Madame Norton’s escort.
Hugh is in debt, deep debt and the only way he could repay his gambling debt’s without sacrificing his family was to do as Monsieur Malleval wants and travel to England and deliver Madame Norton for what ever reason. Hugh knows that there is more to Malleval’s explanation that just getting a document signed. But Hugh is a good soldier and he has never shirked his duty.
Once Marie-Ange reaches France her whole life is turned up side down, firstly while out in Paris she comes across none other than her husband, Christopher who was declared dead six years ago. He is alive and well and for some unexplained reason using a different name and meeting up with the nefarious spy master Fouche. Secondly on reaching Beauregard she soon realises that there is so much more going on than she expected. This Malleval is obsessed with her mother and her history, she knows that there is more than meets the eye but she isn’t expecting the all the danger and twists and turns that she is thrown into.
As well as very personal dramas going on, she also has to contend with her growing feelings for the gruff but charming Capitaine Saintclair.
This is the first book I have read by this author and it won’t be the last, I haven’t read a lot of books which has a supernatural undertone and those that I have, haven’t been my cup of tea so I started this with an open mind. But I really didn’t need to worry, Marie Lavel has done a great job at building the story up and not over powering the reader with too much paranormal, in fact I found that side of the story very subtle.
I like how the story is spread over three years with lots of unexpected twists and turns that keeps you ripped to edge of your seat wondering where on earth this is going and what if our couple are going to get their so much deserved happy ending.
“Whatever are you doing, Capitaine ? You forget your place,” she snapped, shocked as much by his gesture as by the way her body had responded.
“And where would that be, Madame? Of course, I forgot. The stables.” He shot her an amused glance. “Don’t worry, I’m going,”
The minute that Marie-Ange and Hugh meet there is an instant attraction between them, the chemistry sizzles between them even when they are bickering, they are a fascinating couple. They are very much chalk and cheese her from a well to do aristocratic French family, and Hugh from a good, hard-working and honest family. They couldn’t be more different, but yet they really work.
Everything that Marie-Ange has been told about her parents and her past is false, she feels like she has grown up in a lie and she doesn’t know who she is. She sets out find out more about exactly what happened to her mother and on top of that she, by chance she comes across her husband who has been pronounced dead for six years.
She has always believed her husband was out there somewhere, even when she was told he was dead when his ship went down. But when she sees him living in France under another name and working for the evil man and spy master that is Fouche, she begins to conclude that there is more than meets the eye.
Marie-Ange is emotionally conflicted, she wants to know the truth about not just her past but her husband and what is going on with the mysterious Malleval but she is also conflicted over her feeling for Hugh.
His throat tightened and he swallowed hard. There were other things he longed to do, too…
The woman was a mass of contradictions, a fascinating, tempting puzzle.
Hugh is a brooding roguish Cavalry officer under Napoleon rule, Hugh does, at first actual prefer the little ruler, Napoleon – that is until he comes to his senses. Because during Napoleonic rule normal men like Hugh were able to prove their worth and gain higher ranks, respect and homes, something that couldn’t be done while the King ruled. Now that the King is back all the aristocrats are coming back out of hiding and they are taking everything back that ordinary people like him have gained and that is a very sore point for Hugh, and not really surprising he doesn’t like aristocrats that much.
I do like Hugh, and in some ways you can really see his point of view he is exactly what you see and what you expect him to be. He is a life long soldier and a hardworking man, your heart really aches for him when he keeps coming up against aristocratic, spoilt men who treat him like mud of their shoes. He is so much better than them, he is a good man who unfortunately has a gambling problem.
He looked down at her.
Barefoot and swamped in an old dressing gown, the woman hardly reached his shoulder.
He wondered what she wore underneath, if anything.
His pulse quickened and a sudden rush of heat coursed through his veins….
I really like this, the story flows effortlessly. It intrigues you with all the various twists that keeps you guessing right to the last page, it has got so much more than a regular Historical Romance the plot keeps you on you toes and gets you thinking. It has everything from highway robbery, Templar secret codes, spies and a baddie that may be completely off his rocker but he really does steal the show all mixed in with a charming love story, that has a bit of magic.
I really like Lavel’s work her attention to detail is flawless especially when it come to the French areas and customs, she writes with such passion and there is tender, atmospheric charm to her writing that I have completely been drawn in to and I can’t wait to read more of her work.
I highly recommend this.
I his was a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review.
This is out now and can be found at Amazon.