Pocket, Jan 2004, 6.99
To spite his odious grandma, Lord Trey Hawthorne is marrying “whore” Edwina Rhodes, who slept with his deceased grandfather. She is a wealthy widow and he needs cash. Trey has never recovered from the betrayal of his beloved Maria Ashton, a commoner nurse who helped him heal when he was ill, but she married someone else. At the ceremony, a woman objects saying that Trey was deceived by his grandma. Maria lives, but resides at Minson Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
Trey leaves Edwinna at the altar and rushes to the asylum where he does not recognize his beloved until she hums the love melody he wrote “Maria's Song”. He is shocked as his beloved is no better than an animal if she is even that well behaved. Still he takes her back to his estate where he tries to nurse her back to health through his love for her though everyone believes it is too late for them.
Fans will relish this potent historical romance once they get over the shock that a person would destroy someone's life without blinking. The metamorphosis of Maria is interesting to observe as readers picture a kind gentle person turned into a frightened trapped beast ready to spring at anyone before they can assault her. Trey is heroic, but a lifetime with someone who fears, distrusts, and ultimately wants to harm him is sacrificial, but can he really sustain his OBSESSION over the long haul if she shows no progress. Katherine Sutcliffe provides a powerful tale though the final twist seems an unnecessary cleansing of the blood (read this strong book to understand the comment).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner