The Loveday Vendetta

Written by Kate Tremayne
Review by Carol McGrath

From start to finish The Loveday Vendetta, one in a series concerning the fictitious 18th and early 19th century exploits of the Loveday family, is a fast-paced adventure. The action takes place in Cornwall after Alexander dramatically escapes from his cruel stepfather Carforth. He is adopted by Adam Loveday and renamed Bryn. Growing up, Bryn comes into the circuit of the often fraught Loveday family fortunes. The adult Bryn discovers his true identity and pursues the truth about his mother’s murder and the recovery of his estate. Bryn’s is a journey fraught with danger, twists and turnings, dubious characters and many surprises en route. A well-formed, courageous and upright hero, he is also fascinated by, yet not in thrall to, Adam’s niece, the beautiful, troubled and headstrong Rowena Loveday.

The various strands in this saga all engage and are all are ultimately resolved. There is, for instance, Lady Alys, who has operated as a spy in France and whom Adam Loveday saves from disaster and for whom he designs an aviary to house her collection of exotic birds. Equally engaging is the storyline concerning Rowena, who has lived in the shadow of her mother’s tarnished reputation. After her father takes his own life, Rowena finds herself in situations which make her vulnerable as she quests to reconcile her personal demons and achieve happiness. She has various suitors, but will she and Bryn overcome obstacles to find happiness together? Equally interesting are the peripheral characters in this novel, such as the formidable aged Aunt Elspeth and an assorted gallery of relatives young and old.

The Loveday Vendetta possesses a strong sense of period. In Hardyesque style, Tremayne embraces the country life of the times. Her narrative drive is reminiscent of that of Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall novels. It is indeed a tale for admirers of well-written historical sagas.