The sixth novel in a stunning series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, perfect for fans of Bridgerton.
Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit mad houses. When a strange
man appears out of the blue to release her, she can’t quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.
Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix. But as she learns more about the reasons behind her imprisonment, and about those who schemed to hide her away for so long, she starts to wonder if Pierre is in fact the man he says he is. As Madeleine’s past collides with her present, can she find the strength to follow her heart, no matter the personal cost?
Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has always loved literature and completed an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. Together
they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.
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My thoughts: I was excited to read this for a number of reasons; the heroine and I share a first name, it’s set in my beloved Cornwall, during the beginning of Napoleon’s war with Britain, which is a period I’m fascinated by, and as well as a love story, it’s the story of a woman fighting back, at a time when she was considered property and incapable of doing as she pleased. Indeed her nemesis, Sir Charles has her locked up in asylums under false names to keep anyone from finding her and helping her.
Thankfully it was a really good read, otherwise I’d have been incredibly disappointed so that’s good! Madeleine is a brave woman, far stronger than even she thinks and with the help of some wonderful friends and their circle, she’s able to fight back and regain her life, free from fear and the possibility of being sent back into the horrific asylum she’s escaped from. Although it doesn’t go into the terrible conditions of these madhouses, there’s enough from just the state of Madeleine when she escapes to give you some idea of what hellish places they were, fourteen years would break most people, but she has an inner core of steel and somehow clings onto her sanity.
I loved the people she found in Cornwall, connecting her to those who could help her the most – Mrs Pengelly especially and obviously Mr Pitt the cat, a delightfully grumpy moggy. Her foster daughter Rowan had stayed with her and helped her keep together in terrible times and is rewarded with happiness and family.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own