Eye of the Serpent

Written by Joanna Challis
Review by Fiona Lowe

1870: Christabel Brown leaves England, becoming governess to the teenage daughter of an Austrian count. Liesel von Holstein is a difficult charge; her last governess came to an untimely end. Max von Holstein, handsome, widowed, rich, with a mysterious past and an impossibly beautiful castle, is the kind of man romantic dreams are made of. Christabel, beautiful, brave, forthright and honourable, is both entranced by her new employer and bewildered by the secrecy surrounding him. Before Christabel left England, her Grandma entrusted her with the safekeeping of a precious family heirloom, an unusual bracelet in the form of serpents entwined. When Christabel realises this same serpent is the insignia of the Von Holstein family, she wonders about the history of her bracelet. Can it truly be hers? Or was it stolen? Before long, death occurs. Dark forces are gathering, and Christabel is plunged into danger, along with the Count. A not unusual pattern of events, the Von Holstein family history is littered with tragedies. Is history about to repeat itself? Or is Christabel strong enough to claim what is rightfully hers? An achingly beautiful tale, incurably romantic in every sense. Perfect from start to finish, deliciously pleasurable, and highly recommended.