Dark Deceit by Cathie Dunn

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    Layered with authentic detail that will delight any historian, Dark Deceit is a well-written tale of romance, intrigue and dastardly machinations.

    On his return from battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, under-sheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda, assists a dying knight caught in an ambush. Promising to look after the welfare of the knight’s only daughter, Geoffrey stays at her manor, investigating the murder. Keen to join the Empress on her progress through England, he is torn between his oath and his duty.

    Left to defend her manor following her father’s death, Alleyne de Bellac reluctantly accepts Geoffrey’s support. As she doesn’t trust the taciturn stranger, she asks Will d’Arques, an old friend, for help. But loyalties change. Her life in danger and her inheritance at stake, Alleyne must decide which man to trust.

    Discover England and Normandy divided by a brutal civil war, where vows are broken as allegiances waver.

    Review by Wordwonk:

    Cathie Dunn
    Cathie Dunn

    At its core is Lady Alleyne, a knight’s daughter. When her father is mysteriously murdered, she inherits his manor–but in uncertain times will she manage to keep it? Gallant Geoffrey steps in to offer his assistance, but despite her attraction to the under-sheriff, Alleyne is determined to seek help from an old flame, Will d’Arques.

    As the first of a series, Dark Deceit sets up the conflict well. The backdrop of war-torn England and Normandy provides ample drama going forward. The ending of the novel breaks at a good spot, and lets the reader know the happy ending is only happy-for-now. I enjoyed watching Alleyne blunder her way to love. Equally satisfying was Geoffrey’s quest to set his own personal demons to rest. I’ll be looking for the next book in the series.

    Review by Cait O’Sullivan:

    I love historicals and trust them to take me to a time long past. Cathie Dunne doesn’t disappoint, both in the setting of her novel and in her ability to transport me there.

    I allied quickly with Alleyne and was soon captivated by her and the choices she made throughout, watching her character grow stronger with each decision.

    The pace moves quickly and you’ll find yourself reading into the wee hours of the night! Great stuff, I loved it.