Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Highwayman's Daughter - Henriette Gyland

From the publisher's blurb:

Is it a crime to steal a heart?

Hounslow, 1768. Jack Blythe, heir to the Earl of Lampton, is a man with great expectations.

So when his stagecoach is held up by a masked woman, brandishing a pistol and dressed as a gentleman of the road, he wholly expects to have his purse stolen. And when he senses something strangely familiar about the lovely little bandit, Jack also expects to win his cousin Rupert s wager by tracking her down first.

But as Jack and the highwaywoman enter into a swashbuckling game of cat and mouse, uncovering an intricate web of fiercely guarded family secrets, the last thing Jack expects to have stolen is his heart.

Henriette won the 2011 New Talent Award from the UK Festival of Romance for her debut Up Close.

My thoughts:

PERFECT romantic escapism!

Sometimes you want to read something intellectual and urbane, which will spark deep literary discussion. Then sometimes you just want to escape from the 21st century of hustle and bustle and hi tech lifestyles. What better place to escape to than 18th century England when men were, rich, good looking hunks and women were .... Highwaywomen ??

Yep, take this with a pinch of salt and your tongue lodged firmly in your cheek and enjoy it for exactly what it is, pure romantic historical fiction at its very best with a story to warm the coldest heart, enough twists and turns to keep your feminine heart a flutter and a pinch of hot forbidden love to raise your eyebrows.

I don't need to summarise the storyline, as that's been done ably above. It's the skill of the author which lifts this way above the run of the mill bodice ripper to the cleverly constructed fiction which makes you suspend disbelief in the unlikeliest scenarios and coincidences and just go along for the ride (on horseback of course) 

Henriette Gyland has already proven her skill as a romantic fiction author with 2 commendable previous books, also published by the lovely people at Choc-lit, both, inventive contemporary romantic mysteries. With this her latest she departs into the realms of historical fiction and with an adept hand creates a fabulous and likeable hero and heroine, in as romantic a setting as possible, yet introduces some superb red herrings and  a touch of dark and gritty realism (life inside an 18th century prison, executions at Tyburn to name just two)

If you want a feisty and slightly different heroine, a hunky hero to make your heart beat faster and a story clever enough to hold your interest yet easy enough to follow to make it sheer reading enjoyment from start to finish, this is the book to read when you want to make your escape. Another passionate triumph from Choc lit (who kindly provided me with an advance copy - thank you Choc Lit) and a charming detour by the author. Delicious!


  1. Thank you, Janet, for this fantastic review of my book! It really made my day after a hard day of traveling yesterday, and I'm so glad you liked it.

  2. I love all of Henri's books, but I think The Highwayman's Daughter is my favourite. Perfect escapism. as you say, Janet. Fabulous!


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