While not strictly a part of Seymour's Irish historical trilogy (The Black Swan, Rose In The Mist and The Irish Gypsy), which tells the love stories of the three Riordan brothers from County Meath, this should be a part of the series. I liked the second one very much, but this 4th may be the best. It includes some of the same characters from Rose In The Mist, and the hero, Dr. John Black, is also featured in that one.
John Black is a 45-year-old doctor/politician/warrior when this story opens in 1576. He's taking some time off to relax and visit the daughter of the woman he loved as a youth. Catriona (“Cat”) is now wed to Niall Riordan (their story is told in book #2 of the trilogy) and living in Killarney. On his way to visit them, John saves a young girl named Daphne from bullies and discovers she lives in the woods with her mother, Lily, known as the Witch of Whistler's Woods.
Lily is hiding from a past of shame and
her family's rejection, but she is increasingly concerned her lame daughter
wants more people in her life than just her mother. John offers to help Daphne
walk better but Lily is hesitant. She's been hurt by trusting a man before...
This is a story of second chances...the story of a man who lost his first love and a woman who was betrayed by hers. I loved the more mature man that was John Black though there was a time in the story when I questioned his less than honorable intentions toward Lily. Lily was a survivor as only a single mother who loves her child can be.
It's a worthy tale, well told. I recommend it.
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