1684. Seeking to restore the Daunt family's place at the court of King Charles, the patriarch of this renegade Somerset clan hatches a long reaching plot. His granddaughter is to marry his hostage ward, Ivor Chalfont to ensure peace between two powerful clans. Decided on when both were children, this idea certainly doesn't fit well with his wild cap granddaughter Ariadne. Ari has plans and a true love of her own, her poet lover Gabriel, so different from the raw power of the men of her clan. 'Ivor was a warrior, Gabriel a misty-eyed poet.'
When her grandfather dies Ari finds herself forced into the long standing agreement by her uncle, the new clan leader. Her immediate marriage with Ivor is followed closely by being whisked away to London and the court of Prince Charles, where intrigue is rife and deception is the norm. The clan's future is at stake and Ari and Ivor must play their assigned roles with care. To do that they must play both sides of the religious game, Catholic and Protestant. A very narrow path indeed.
I must admit Ari seems uncaring and self centred in the beginning. Well being forced down a path you don't want to take might make you like that. Her outlook does change as the story unfolds.
Meanwhile, Gabriel has other ideas and follows Ari, his muse, his true love to London, hoping to rescue her. That's where it all unravels. Suddenly, in this new situation both men seem very different. Ari has decisions to make and her poet lover is so persistent. As for Ivor Chalfont, her childhood companion, he has grown into a strong and patient man who maybe suits her more than she ever dreamed.
An enjoyable and different read.