The Seeds of Sin

Written by Anne Herries
Review by Jane Hill

After the death of Cromwell and the restoration of Charles Stuart to the throne of England, Sir Rupert Saunders returns from exile at the French court looking forward to meeting his sixteen-year-old daughter, Angelica, introducing her to the English Court and finding her a suitable husband. However Angelica is already in love with her handsome second cousin, Hal, the adopted heir to Thornberry Hall who was born out of wedlock. Sadly Hal feels committed to marry his cousin Claire and appears to have little interest in Angelica.

Sir Rupert takes Angelica and Claire to London where Angelica chooses fine dresses and captures the attention of Lord Chesterford, a young rake who is a member of Lord Rochester’s circle. Despite his obvious attraction and pursuit of her she can only think of Hal, and in the meanwhile Claire confides to Angelica that she does not really wish to marry Hal.

These affairs of the heart are further complicated by the appearance of a family of gypsies in the village and the claim of Jared, a young gypsy, that he is the half-brother and rightful heir to Thornberry Hall as his mother had married Hal’s father. The story reaches a dramatic climax as a ‘Witch Finder’ arrives in the village and identifies Jared’s mother and sister as witches.

As is usual with many historical romances the plot does appear somewhat complicated and contrived but it will nevertheless please readers who enjoy this genre. The background details are accurate and well researched and do not intrude on the story. This is the final book in the Civil War series, and it is a good tale set in a very turbulent period.