Mistress of Huntleigh Hall

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Alice Wykeham bid her one true love farewell ten years ago. While Malcom Gray went to sea, working on a whaler ship, Alice remained at home in Yorkshire County. After ten years of Malcom's absence, Alice at last gives in to her da's insistence that she marry. Her da arranges Alice's marriage to a much older man, Lord Francis Talbot, in exchange for her generous dowry. Though Malcom arrives in the port city of Hull in time to stop the wedding nuptials, he is convinced that his love has changed her mind and committed herself to Lord Talbot.

Ms. Swift’s tale, set in the 1500’s, is well built and the setting is one not often used by historical authors.  The details of Huntleigh Hall and the wharf of Hull are interestingly drawn, which can only add to the reader’s enjoyment.   A compelling secondary storyline is almost enough to save the novel, which unfortunately suffers from a lack of dramatic development.  There are also some issues with swift changes in point of view.  These "head hops" can make the story difficult to follow, and contribute to the failure of the book to grip the reader's attention and stand out from the pack.  Patient readers, or those looking to while away an afternoon, will enjoy the unique setting of this standard romance trope.  

Erin Murdock