Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L. Tyndall

M.L. Tyndall is known for her popular The King’s Pirates series. However, in The Falcon and the Sparrow she draws inspiration from the intrigue and elegance of the Napoleonic era.

Miss Dominique Dawson, is the daughter of an English admiral and a Frenchwoman. After her parents die, she is left financially destitute and adrift in Paris. She turns to a distant cousin for help, but her hopes of returning to a comfortable life are crushed, when she is forced to make a terrible bargain. To save her younger brother’s life, Dominique must agree to spy on her homeland.

Admiral Chase Randal is landlocked, a temporary replacement for a member of the Admiralty board. Despite the honor, he would much rather be at sea. Ashore he finds too many reminders of the wife he lost.

Though struggling with overwhelming grief, Admiral Randal is trying to be a good father to his bright, affectionate son, William. To that end, he hires Dominique Dawson as a governess for the boy. Chase finds the new governess inexplicably timid, but decides to give her a chance for her father’s sake.

Dominique quickly bonds with her young charge, and her heart goes out to his stern father. Against her will, she comes to care for the members of the Randal household—especially her employer. Still her brother’s life is in jeopardy, and Dominique faces her greatest struggle of all in turning her future over to God, and trusting his plans for her.

Chase is quickly enchanted by his new governess, but fearful of loving again. He cannot bear the risk of losing someone else.  At the same time, the Admiralty is informed that Chase has a spy in his home and he lays a trap to catch any would be traitor.

The plot thickens as Dominique and Chase navigate the treacherous seas of society and espionage, and the clock is running out.

Anyone who enjoyed Ms. Tyndall’s first series won’t be disappointed with this new offering. Her writing is a deft blend of romance and adventure, with an interesting setting and unique characters. In particular, she works hard to make her characters real—with very human foibles and feelings. I definitely recommend The Falcon and the Sparrow

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