The Valcourt Heiress

Written by Catherine Coulter
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

England, 1278: Marianna de Luce de Mornay is running away from her mother — a real witch — and an unwelcome suitor. She meets the stalwart Garron of Kersey, newly endowed with his dead brother’s estate and all its problems. These include a traumatized household, a ruined castle, enemies of several varieties, and a treasure trove that may or may not exist. The lively, kind, intelligent “Merry,” as she is called, soon puts Garron’s castle to rights and becomes a favorite of the castle folk. King Edward is helpful, too, through his secretary, Robert Burnell. Love grows between Merry and Garron as they try to discover the identity of the threatening Black Demon.

Fast-paced and humorous, with a fairly mild sensuality level, the story makes a quick, entertaining read. This unpretentious romp is history lite, with huge dollops of magick and fantasy. There is a hugely surprising twist ending, which mystery fans may find contrived. This is a romance, however, as well as a mystery, and there is a satisfying happily ever after ending. A fun, fast, light read, useful by the fireside, on an airplane, or at the beach.