Hazel Statham began writing at the age of fifteen, finally committing to paper the stories she spun as a child. Writing has been her passion ever since, although marriage, motherhood, and career left time for little else. Once she retired, however, she was able to devote herself to writing full-time, publishing her first novel in 2007. A longtime student of history, she writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, though she has been known to dabble in the medieval as well. She lives in Staffordshire, England, with her husband, Terry, and their beloved yellow Labrador, Mollie
I truly enjoyed this novel, set in the regency period and peopled by characters who soon sweep you up into their lives. It had faint echoes of Jane Eyre and even Rebecca and included a mystery and some dastardly criminal activity.
Young Caroline Northam is the daughter of a suicide - a real social no-no in those days - and now survives by the grace of indifferent relatives. She is 19 years old but has a maturity beyond her years. Richard Moreton, Earl of Waverly is 34 and a man who has been badly burnt in the past by a woman who appears almost psychopathic in her behaviour. Without wishing to include a spoiler, let's just say that everything possible that would devastate a young man in love, is done to Richard by this woman. He is eventually widowed when his wife dies in childbirth and he is left to bring up the tiny baby girl. He is a loving, caring and sensitive father.
However, Richard's family think it is time to get on with life and, most particularly, to find a wife and mother for his daughter and so, at a social event, he comes across Caroline who sits quietly in shadows trying not to draw attention to herself. He invites her into a marriage of convenience thinking she will give him companionship and a mother for little Julia. They settle down at his family seat to a quiet family life.
Not for long! There are several really evil and nasty villains in this story whose interference with Richard and Caroline's life is very well done. These two men are not cardboard cut-outs - both have reason to hate Richard and so begins a protracted period of harrassment and violence that is extremely well portrayed.Read more ›
I really enjoyed this book and as the other reviewers have said, it is written true to the times and is a clean romance. I liked this Earl and I liked the way he reconsidered his 'in name only' marriage quite quickly. There are no big misunderstandings, the plot is intriguing and it's an engaging read.
An enjoyable, romantic read is what you'll find in Hazel Statham's "His Shadowed Heart".
The Earl of Waverly might never love again. After the death of his wife, he believes his heart irreparably damaged. Entering into a marriage of convenience to young Caroline Northam, the Earl settles in to a life with his daughter and new bride. Little does he know the affect Caroline will have on him.
But their new-found happiness is jeopardized by strange happenings and heinous acts attributed to the ghost of his first wife. Will their love be strong enough to survive?
This is the first Regency romance I've read, though I am a huge fan of historical fiction and historical romance novels. The story opens with the Earl of Waverly's (Richard's) sister, Lady Victoria Stanton, trying to bully her younger brother into remarrying, even if just for his daughter's sake. The entertaining exchange sets the mood for the remainder of their conversations, which I found almost as enjoyable as the tense moments between the earl and his cousin, Gerald Dent. The author goes to great extents to create Richard and it shows in every emotion and movement he feels and performs.
The rich details draw the reader right into the time period and through Statham's eloquent prose the reader discovers how much meaning can be found in a brief glance, a caress, a tender kiss to an upheld hand.
"His Shadowed Heart" by Hazel Statham should be on every historical romance lovers wish list.
This is a pleasant little regency romance. Caroline and Richard are steady characters but their dialog can sometimes slide into syrupy sweetness. The plot is intriguing enough that you'll want to keep turning pages but not so absorbing that you can't put it down. There are twists and tangents that prevent the story from becoming too predictable BUT there will be no shocking moments. There's no moment where you'll gasp in surprise. No paragraph will make you groan or sigh or giggle aloud. It is good enough but not a regency to rave about.
A good, solid story. Ms. Statham has now been placed on my must read list. She is a very good writer and I appreciate the fact that she keeps her stories clean, but not lacking in true romance.
At first I found Richard, the Earl of Waverly rather harsh and hard to warm up to but when you learn the truth behind his supposed "perfect" first marriage to Elizabeth then one is able to make allowances for his behavior. I liked the way Caroline grew in confidence and spirit as the story progressed. She started out as a shy mouse, but towards the end wasn't afraid to show some spunk. There were scenes that brought tears to my eyes as Richard and Caroline tried to work out their relationship.
I gave this story a 4 only because the mystery was no mystery at all. I was able to guess who was behind all the ghostly shenanigans from the onset.
I enjoyed this story eminently. The story line was easy to follow. It had everything from romance to intrigue. I would have liked a different ending. I started this book and never put it down; I was so disappointed when I read the last paragraph. It would been better if it had ended with her telling her husband. I would have liked an epilogue or a chapter with a summary of the future which would have included them living in their new house, the baby, and Julia. The other thing that bothered me was the Earl's cousin, whatever happened to him.