When Garron of Kersey returns home from the king's service to claim his title as Baron Wareham, he's shocked to find Wareham Castle very nearly destroyed by a man called the Black Demon.
According to the last starving servants still clinging to life inside the castle walls, the Black Demon was looking for gold belonging to Garron's brother Arthur. Among his remaining servants is the enigmatic Merry, the bastard child of the castle's priest. Garron quickly realizes that she is much more than a servant: She reads and writes and makes lists, just as he does. Together they bring Wareham back to its former splendor.
But this is only the beginning. Did Arthur have a cache of gold? Who is the Black Demon? And the biggest question of all: Who is Merry?
The Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter
5 out of 5
I read Catherine Coulter books when I was in high school. She never disappointed. While I was looking in a book store, I saw this book and just had to read it. It has been over a decade since I have read her books, but her stories are still amazing. This book has some great twists and turns. It also has a sweet love story.
The main characters are Merry and Garron. Merry is a noblewoman who runs away from home so she doesn’t have to marry a horrible man. I know that is a common scenario in historical fiction, but give it a chance. She ends up hiding at Wareham and helps turn the run down castle around. Merry is smart. She can read, write, and stay organized. These qualities endear her to those that live in the castle and to Garron. Our man of the hour is Garron. He is a warrior that is taking over lordship of his brother’s castle. His brother died, and the castle was attacked by the Black Demon. Garron is a hardworking and organized man. A big thing between Garron and Merry are making lists. I know it sounds silly, but Coulter does an amazing job making it the sweetest thing you will read about. These two work together to rebuild Wareham by relying and confiding in each other. My favorite part is when they compare shopping lists on what Wareham needs. They both put soap very high on their lists.
The twists come with Merry’s mom and Jason of Brennan. These two cause problems for the couple because they want the secret gold that Garron’s brother stole. Merry’s mom, Helen, is a witch. She is very powerful and determined to get what she wants. Jason of Brennan is her tool. He is a weak man that is trying to prove himself to his father. Helen promised Jason he could marry Merry and have Valcourt, a vast holding that Merry is the heiress to. These two kidnap Merry, trick Garron, and cause the death of many innocent citizens of Wareham. It is their actions that really keep you in suspense in this book.
The last couple chapters are intense because that is when everything comes out. I have read a lot of books, and this ending is one that I did not see coming. I definitely recommend this book. It is great for rainy days, the beach, or just some fun reading.