Amazon Review:"When twenty-two-year-old Laura Parr meets thirty-two-year old Nathaniel, Lord Lanyon, a baron with a troubled past, in summer, 1899 he reminds her of Heathcliffe, a character from Wuthering Heights. The hackney carriage they share is involved in an accident. “Really, I don’t think this is necessary,” Laura protested when he lifted” her into his arms and carried her across the road. “And she a strapping female, who prided herself on being athletic and strong” whose father, a member of parliament, allowed her to attend lectures at university. Interested in women’s rights she does not want to marry, instead she plans to find employment and move into a flat in Bloomsbury.
Nathaniel, a widower whose wife died in mysterious circumstances, is confident of Laura’s passionate nature. “It was evident in the flash of her beautiful green eyes and her wilful mouth that he wanted badly to kiss but for a young lady as gently reared as her it could only mean marriage.” Nathanial woos her, tells her his wife would be “his partner in life”, weds her and takes her to Wolfram Abbey his country seat in Cornwall.
Laura believes her husband desires her but does not love her. Lanyon thinks: “Poor girl, what kind of future have I given her in a moment of madness? He would never be able to give fully of himself or to give her what she needed. Laura had given up so much for him. Compassion gripped him. He would do anything in his power to protect her.”
From the beginning of this spine-chilling Gothic Novel, with beautiful word pictures of Cornwall, the author skilfully creates fear and suspicion. The twist at the end is a fiendishly clever one which I did not anticipate. The Baron’s Wife deserves the five stars I have awarded it.