Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Echoes in the Mist by Andrea Kane


The enmity between the Kingsleys and the Caldwells started six years ago when Trenton Kingsley made the mistake of falling in love with Vanessa Caldwell. When Vanessa died mysteriously, all fingers pointed to Trenton -- and his family's reputation suffered a terrible blow, despite Trenton's insistence of his innocence. The ruination of their good name led to his father's decline and eventual death -- and Trenton's exile.

He has returned to Sussex to confront the man who was responsible for the Kingsley's ruin: Baxter Caldwell. Trenton's plan of revenge is simple but he does not count on fate intervening in the form of Ariana Caldwell, the youngest and the only innocent in that family.

Ariana was too young to understand the anger and confusion that happened all those years ago. She never met the man who caused her sister's death. When she finally meets Trenton Kingsley, she doesn't meet her as an enemy but as a man who saves her in her family's maze on a foggy, starless night -- and she feels a searing interest in this stranger. When Trenton reveals his identity, Ariana is confused: how could this man who showed her such gentleness be responsible for such sadness in her family?

Trenton cannot figure out his own attraction to Ariana. Her resemblance to Vanessa is uncanny -- but it is Ariana's purity that draws him to her. But what of revenge? A chance encounter with Queen Victoria gives Trenton the opportunity to deliver a killing blow: ruin the sister, ruin the family.

When a royal edict arrives, commanding Ariana to marry Trenton Kingsley, a gamut of emotions run through her: trepidation, fear ... but also excitement. Blood and loyalty compels her to take her brother's side -- but there is a small part of Ariana that doubts the story of Vanessa's death.

Marriage to his sister's enemy isn't what Trenton expected. He tries to maintain a distance from his wife but he cannot help but be undone by her passionate response to him.

I had difficulty thinking of where to start while I write my thoughts on Echoes in the Mist. When I found out that Andrea Kane's historical backlist was being re-published by Open Road Media, I immediately took a look at the titles. I didn't read Kane in the 90s because I was limited to a student's book allowance but I had heard of her even then. When the publisher gave me the opportunity to review one of Kane's books, I asked for a recommendation and they suggested Echoes in the Mist.

I read it and enjoyed it. And slept very late finishing the book. It's amazing that this book was originally published in 1994 and is almost twenty years old and has stood the test of time. This is testament to Andrea Kane's skill as a writer and storyteller.

The plot is a bit complicated:
The story begins with a revenge plan.
Then it gets complicated a little bit when the hero falls in lust (?) with his enemy's younger sister.
Then they get married and discover a wonderful physical compatibility.
But the hero is still intent on pursuing his revenge. What about his lovely wife who is caught in the middle?
Our hero's nemesis also has plans against the hero.
Then Kane introduces a very curious twist. And our hero thinks he is mad.
The heroine tries to help the hero and discovers very awful things about her own family and is held captive by them.
Then the hero rescues the heroine and all is resolved.

It all seems like a tangle but the book reads very well and everything is presented clearly and settled nicely in the end.

What I thought was odd was the white owl, Ariana's maid, Theresa (who loved to quote Sir Francis Bacon) and Dustin Kingsley -- not quite deus ex machina -- but these three characters functioned as support for the hero and heroine. Always ready with advice and a shoulder to cry on: Theresa's near omniscience about the Caldwells didn't settle well with me. I understand that the owl is supposed to foreshadow the role Trenton would play in Ariana's life and Dustin was supposed to be "the voice of reason" but it all felt too convenient. Would Ariana and Trenton's relationship have worked out without their interference? I think, yes, though it might have taken them longer to realize it. I realize that the author needed to use some plot device to move the story forward and it all works out in the end.

This is not a perfect story but, as a whole, it was very good and very enjoyable.

Echoes in the Mist is the first book in Andrea Kane's Kingsleys in Love duology. The second book, Wishes in the Wind, is Dustin's story.

To find out more about Andrea Kane and her books, visit her website. She's also on Facebook and on Goodreads.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. Many thanks to Caroline of Open Road Media for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

8 comments:

  1. I picked up this one as a Kindle freebie (or discount, I can't remember) a while back and it's been sitting there unread ever since. And every time I look at it, I can't remember what it's about or why I downloaded it! (Btw, this is a perpetual problem for me) Thanks for the review/reminder - it sounds like a decent summer read and I'm more inclined to move it up the TBR.

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  2. Hi, Sarah!

    Wow if you got it free or discounted! I'm definitely curious about the second book.

    Hope you are having a great summer!

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