The English island called Abandon, enshrouded in ancient legend, has been home to warriors as well as enchanting women -- and none more spellbinding than lovely Morwenna Halliwell. Determined to fight when Abandon is offered to the highest bidder, Morwenna confronts the enemy: the Earl of Pentargon, Anthony Hartstone -- or "Lord Heart-of-Stone" as she indignantly calls him. Yet little does Morwenna realize she will soon be forced to marry the forbidding lord who holds her future in his strong hands.
Anthony arrogantly dismisses Morwenna and her litany of complaints against him -- all the while drawn to her beauty and courage. But when danger confronts Morwenna, Anthony knows he must call upon all his power to protect the innocent miss he desires. It is up to him to unmask the villain who threatens her, and also to convince his bride that he is not her opponent -- but her most passionate and devoted admirer.
Romance blooms on a magical island that is linked to the legend of King Arthur in this fanciful, light historical. When Anthony Hartstone, third earl of Pentargon, attempts to sell Abandon, an island off the shores of Cornwall, he must face Morweena Halliwell, a sassy young woman who reportedly possesses mystical powers. Morweena appeals to Anthony to leave the island undisturbed in order to protect the fish and flower businesses that support the island's residents, but he has already made a deal with the powerful Marquess of Camelbourne to hand over the island in exchange for the Marquess's political support ensuring that Anthony's child-labor reform measures are passed. As Anthony awaits the marquess's arrival, he begins to experience Abandon's magic. Flowers bloom out of season, rainbows light up the sky and a raven warns islanders of impending danger. Even more enchanting is the spirited Morweena, whose quest for King Arthur's cave draws her closer to Anthony and to the evil forces that threaten to tear them apart. With so much going on in so few pages, it's easy for the reader to become dazed by the narrative's hurried pace and many plot turns, but Hunter's (Indiscretion, etc.) charming characters and perky dialogue overshadow this flaw. Agent Andrea Cirillo. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 01, 2001
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Excerpt from Abandon by Jillian Hunter
The castle servants had warned him that he would pay for ignoring the girl. On the very night he took possession of the ancient keep, the domestic prophets of doom surrounded him in the hallway. They assured him that the girl possessed some vague magical powers which she would use against him for turning her away.
"And what sort of magical powers might those be?" he had asked out of amused curiosity.
"She brings rainbows to the sky after a storm," the castle housekeeper said proudly.
The coachman nodded. "She causes flowers to bloom where nary a weed could grow before."
"Oh, my goodness, Anthony said, hiding a grin. "These are terrifying powers, indeed. Is it safe to leave my room?"
"And she's under the protection of the sorceress Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's own sister," a chambermaid piped in ominously.
"Not the same King Arthur who lived in Saxon times?" Anthony walked the small group of servants into the bronze umbrella stand, his voice rising. "Who probably never lived at all and, if he did live, would have banished the lot of you to the dungeon for aggravation?"
"The one and only Arthur," the housekeeper said, adding under her breath as she hid behind the coachman, "and old Annie Jenkins has had a vision that you and Miss Halliwell are destined to marry."
"Marry?" Anthony muttered to himself as he waved the absurd little group away. Now, that is a terrifying thought."
Still, inspiring his own brand of terror in the much-beloved Miss Halliwell was probably what he needed to do to get rid of the girl once and for all. Ignoring her for a week obviously had not worked. In fact, the thunderous echo that resounded through the walls this very moment could have been caused by the brutal Atlantic breakers that pounded at the foundations of the castle. Or they could have been her again.