By Shirley Smith
Robert Hale - February 2002
ISBN 0709070381 - Hardback
Historical Romance - Gothic - 1815, London

Reviewed by: Rachel A Hyde,
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Lucy Grey is young, beautiful, penniless - and a governess. Her parents have died within weeks of each other. Her miserly relatives have sent her brother to Oxford but have found her a post at the house of their friend Lord Hallburgh in London. Her employer makes her welcome but not so his beautiful but crippled older sister Caroline who rules the household with a rod of iron. Lucy soon wins round her two young charges and falls in love with her handsome employer in best Gothic fashion, but what happened to Lord Hallburgh's first wife, and what is Caroline and her friend Dr Trabut up to?

This isn't Regency in the usual sense of the term but a gothic romance complete with Mrs. Danvers-type maid Yvette, a tragic and lovely first wife to the moody lord and an attractive and upright governess. Telling the story in Lucy's own words draws the reader into the story successfully but I felt that more mystery could have been added to great advantage as it can all be guessed very easily. All the best gothic novels keep the reader guessing about some points of the plot. It is atmospheric but a little thin - as this is the author's first novel it will be interesting to see how any subsequent ones develop.

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