Silver Lady, by Mary Jo Putney

November 28, 2023 Book Reviews 1 ★★★½

Silver Lady, by Mary Jo PutneySilver Lady by Mary Jo Putney
Series: Dangerous Gifts #1
Published by Kensington on November 28, 2023
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Kindle or ebook
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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three-half-stars
Also by this author: Sometimes a Rogue, Not Quite a Wife, Not Always a Saint, The Last Chance Christmas Ball, Once a Soldier, Seduction On a Snowy Night, One Perfect Rose

From the renowned bestselling author comes a thrilling new historical romance series set in the remote English county of Cornwall, featuring a rugged hero and heroine who share a unique legacy, a powerful passion—and a common enemy. Perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

Together they faced the past . . .

A sense of duty sends Bran Tremayne to Cornwall to confront his heritage of British nobility. Abandoned at birth, Bran wants nothing to do with the embittered remains of his family. But as a special agent for the Home Office, he senses trouble brewing along the coast. And he can’t turn away from the vulnerable woman he encounters in the Cornish countryside. Merryn’s amnesia makes her past a mystery to them both, but with her life in danger, the only thing Bran knows for sure is that the beautiful stranger needs his protection . . .

But would they share a future?

Leaning into Bran is difficult enough, but can Merryn trust the strong bond—and the powerful passion—she feels for her rugged rescuer? She has no choice once Bran uncovers that she is at the center of a plot between French agents and Cornish smugglers. From misty woodlands to stormy shores, the two join forces with a band of loyal Cornishmen to bring down a common enemy. Yet will their growing love survive the coming peril?

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Magic and Mystery

I was surprised but pleased to see that Putney is wading back into the historical-fantasy-romance pool with this book, as she did years ago with The Marriage Spell and the Guardians trilogy. “Wading” is apt; this is more the shallow end of the pool, adding a light overlay of psychic gifts over a familiar historical-romance world. Beyond the fantasy element, there’s a bit of a mystery, as well as both amnesia and lost heir tropes.

Silver Lady takes place in early-19th-century Britain as we know it, but in this fictional version, some people are “gifted” with one or more talents we today would call psychic powers or ESP. Those with gifts are often treated with fear or disdain; the hero, Branok Tremayne, was essentially discarded by his father, Lord Penhaligon, at a very young age. Fortunately for Bran, he was found and adopted by Lord and Lady Tremayne, whose blended family of gifted children (both fosters and children by birth) became a source of comfort and strength. But all that is backstory. The novel essentially begins with Bran’s discovery that he is Lord Penhaligon’s only remaining son and heir, a fact which brings neither of them any pleasure.

We know much less about our heroine to begin with, for her mind has been more or less erased or subdued by a woman she knows only as the Starling. Even her own name has been stripped from her. Her story begins with her escape from the Starling and the sinister Crow, and her eventual rescue at Bran’s hands. As her memory slowly returns, it becomes evident that her captors had some nefarious plan afoot that involved her. Just what that plan is, and whether Bran and his Silver Lady can stop it, comprises one strand of the novel’s plot; the remaining strands are Bran’s status as heir and the romance between Bran and the heroine.

The two main characters and their romance are appealing, but they have less depth, passion, and angst than their counterparts in the Fallen Angels series or some of the Lost Lords books. In fact, the writing overall isn’t nearly as rich, immersive, and compelling as in Putney’s earlier books. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading Silver Lady, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes next. For one thing, Bran has several siblings who deserve romances of their own.  

A final note: For history buffs, the book references the disastrous explosion of HMS Amphion in Plymouth in 1796, with over a hundred visitors and sailors’ relatives aboard. The book takes place in 1803, so the disaster would have been relatively fresh in the locals’ minds.

Challenges: COYER Upside Down, Chapter 2 (3 points) and Chapter 3 (on the reread); NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge

three-half-stars

About Mary Jo Putney

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York and holds degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design from Syracuse University. She worked in the field of design until her first novel was published in 1987. Since then, she has written over forty books, mainly historical romances.

Ms. Putney’s novels are known for their emotional depth and for tackling unusal subjects for romance, including alcoholism, imprisonment, terminal illness, and domestic violence. Her books regularly feature on national bestseller lists. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, Putney has won twice, for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer (later revised and expanded as The Rake. She is also the holder of several other awards, including the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms. Putney continues to write new stories for Kensington, but has reissued many of her backlist titles independently, including the Silk Trilogy and her bestselling Fallen Angels series.

She lives near Baltimore, Maryland.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER Upside-Down 2023: Chapter 2
  • COYER Upside-Down 2023: Chapter 3
  • NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2023

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