An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song …
When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.
But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile.
When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.
As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger …
This was previously published as Angel Heart by Accent Press in 2015. This is a revised, edited and updated version. Published February 2021 by Choc Lit.
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.
Angel of the Lost Treasure was an excellent historical romance set in 19th Century France. Our main character is Marie-Ange Norton, who is a young widow and orphan. Her mother died when she was younger, followed by her father as she became older, and her husband was recently declared missing. While living in Devon, she receives a summons from a mysterious individual. She goes to Beauregard in France to collect an inheritance after receiving the invitation by Monseiur Malleval.
The journey starts with her crossing the sea with Captaine Hugo Saintclair. Upon arrival in France, Marie-Ange learns more about her family and the secrets that surround them. Marie-Ange becomes the houseguest of Malleval, but soon realizes that all might not be as it seems and she might be in danger. He believes that she will lead him to the lost treasure and will stop at nothing to get it. The story follows Marie-Ange as she tries to figure out who to trust and how to make it out safely. There were a lot of twists with all of the secrets surrounding her family’s history. The amount of thrill was reading this story was surprising, in a good way, as I loved following Marie-Ange’s story.
The characters in this story were all very enjoyable and complex. Although Marie-Ange is sometimes naïve, she learns a lot from her mistakes and is courageous. Hugh is the tough exterior with the caring heart and was a good match for Marie-Ange. The villain Malleval was very interesting as he was both clever and dangerous. Although the characters all seem to have predetermined roles, they were still interesting and dynamic.
The story features a nice mix of history and fiction to create a captivating tale. Although the story is fiction, there is a lot of realism and I loved the descriptions of the setting in France. I also greatly enjoyed the connection the story makes to the Knights Templar and the mysteries that accompany them. It added a new layer of the author’s great ability to weave history and fiction. Although there is a brewing romance in this story, I liked the author’s balance between it and the main mystery.
Overall, this is a wonderful escape-read as it does transport the reader into another world that is both new yet familiar. The twists and turned were well-planned as it seemed that everything was done intentionally as the author moved through the plot. The writing was easy to enjoy as it felt both historical yet accessible, so it was nice for reader, like myself, that love historical novels with the ease of a contemporary one. The story kept me interested and wanting to find out more that I ended up reading this in a single sitting. It was an excellent read and I would gladly read more by the author!
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources and the publisher, Choc Lit, for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**