The widow's kiss

Posted by reviewer | 10:21 a.m. | , , , | 0 comments »

The widow's kiss, By Jane Feather
Bantam mass market, Feb 2002

Grade: B

Dear Reader,

When I first saw her, I realized that the miniature portrait I had shown to the king did not do her justice. Lady Guinevere Mallory’s beauty transcended even a portrait painter’s skill. It was nearly impossible to believe that this woman, who had buried four husbands before her thirtieth birthday, could have used murder and the dark arts of witchcraft to achieve her great wealth.

I carried the king’s writ to investigate Lady Guinevere’s oft-repeated widowhood. Was it mere coincidence that each death had left her wealthier than the last? The fact that I believed she also held lands that rightfully belonged to my family made my investigations all the more personal and all the more thorough.

Surely, I thought, such a woman would bear some obvious mark of treachery on her countenance, in her manner. But when we met I saw only the beauty of her pale blond hair and her deep violet eyes that seemed to me to offer a glimpse into the intriguing world of her brilliant mind and spirit. I began to wonder how the gentle hands of such an elegant woman, whose cool composure belied her dubious past, could have committed cold-blooded murder.

Now as I learn more about the mysterious widow, I find myself growing more curious about the secrets of her heart–and more determined to reveal those secrets. Guinevere is the most captivating and intriguing woman I have ever met. I have but one question: Will my interest in her prove to be a fatal one?

Hugh of Beaucaire

Time for a confession. I bought this book based solely on the cover. When I got home and read the back of the book I was pretty disappointed. It didn't interest me because it looked as if it was written in the first person from the hero's POV. Thats why I put off reading it for long.
Anyway, I finally got around to sticking my nose in it, and I have to say that it was pretty good.

Guinevere is a mother of 2 who has been widowed 4 times. She is beautiful, smart and convinced all her husbands to will her everything upon their deaths. When her 4'th husband dies, the King sends Lord Hugh of Beaucaire to investigate the deaths, and then bring her back to London for a trial. Hugh has interest in Guinevere because he thinks that he is owed land that was gifted to her by one of her husbands. He wants the land for his own son.

He goes to her with his son and they spend 2 months with Guinevere, her daughters and Guinevere's staff who have been with her since she was an infant.

At first Hugh doesn't like her because he thinks she is a killer and land stealer. Guinevere does not like him because she thinks he is just out to bully her.

After spending so much time together, they are attracted to each other. They have sex a few times, after her trail in front of the Privy Seal and the King, Hugh says that he wants to marry her. Guinevere is upset because she knows that Hugh wont let her keep all of her land and fortune, but unless she wants to anger the king and have her head chopped off, leaving her daughters with nothing, she has no choice but to marry him. Hugh insists that he loves her, so she should just be happy about that, because she is still wealthy, except her riches are in his name now.

Privy Seal is upset that Guinevere was not convicted, so he hires some thugs to kill Hugh and Hugh's son, making it look like Guinevere did it. When attacks, accidents and other ad things start to happen, Hugh is convinced that she is trying to kill him and his son (because even though he knows she did not kill her first 3 husbands, he is not sure that she did not kill the 4'th)
When confronting her, he treated her really bad. He said very mean things and threw her out on her ass.

He does find out the truth about who the real bad guy is and sets out to win his wife back. Compared to how badly he treated her, I don't think he did enough to earn her forgiveness. I almost started crying when he was going off on her about trying to kill his son. I wish that the author had made up for that, because I didn't buy it for a minute. I needed groveling or something. Guinevere who is supposed to be this smart, educated woman fell back into his arms like a love sick virgin. Thats the only thing that annoyed me.

This is the first Jane Feather book I have ever read. I'll keep an eye out for more.