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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Powerful passion and wonderfully wrought history are the hallmarks of a Jane Feather romance. And in her suspenseful tale The Widow's Kiss there are plenty of both. Emotions run hot and passions run high when a feisty widow and a determined soldier lock horns over the widow's fate -- for the soldier must determine if the deaths of the woman's four husbands were due to simple misfortune or cold-blooded murder.
By the time Lady Guinevere Mallory buries her fourth wealthy husband, she has become a woman of considerable means. The wealth and marital bad luck of this 28-year-old beauty draw the attention of King Henry VIII, who decides to investigate by sending along one of his most seasoned soldiers, Hugh of Beaucaire. Guinevere is greatly disturbed by Hugh's arrival, not only because the man is incredibly handsome and stirs up longings Guinevere would rather ignore, but because he believes her guilty of murder. What's more, he claims that a piece of property Guinevere inherited upon the death of one of her husbands should rightfully be his, which puts his objectivity in question.
Despite Hugh's suspicions about the true fate of Guinevere's four unfortunate husbands, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to her blonde beauty, quiet sophistication, and clever mind. Unsure if she is a scheming murderess or simply unlucky, he sets about trying to uncover the truth by staying on at her estate. Utterly charmed by the woman as well as her two daughters, Hugh wants to believe in Guinevere's innocence. But when conflicting evidence surrounding the death of the fourth husband raises doubts about what actually happened, Hugh is forced to bring Guinevere to London, where King Henry and his court will decide upon her fate. Guinevere is forced to fight for both her love and her life, and Hugh is forced to look deep inside his heart when he must choose between two courses of action. One choice may lead to his own death, the other to Guinevere's.
Feather provides an irresistible blend of mystery and intrigue along with vivid details that bring this period of history to life. The precariousness of an independent woman's position during the reign of this notorious king becomes a harsh reality that overshadows the characters' attempts to find happiness. But in the end, trust, love, and the inviolability of their spirits bring triumph over adversity.
Contributing editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.