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By Noel O’Reilly (Har­lequin HQ £14.99)

A his­tor­i­cal drama of se­crets, ship­wrecks and su­per­sti­tion, this is a thor­oughly grip­ping tale of in­jus­tice set amidst Corn­wall’s dark past.

Ship­wrecks are part of life in the re­mote vil­lage of Porth­morveon. As the sea washes the bod­ies of the drowned on to the beach it also brings trea­sures: bar­rels of liquor and ex­otic fruit. Vil­lagers pile the spoils into carts and bas­kets, keep­ing their heads low and their knowl­edge to their selves. Mary Blight ar­rives too late to find much of worth. Des­per­ately poor, any small to­ken will make a big dif­fer­ence to her life. But there are eyes every­where and her small prize gives oth­ers a chance to use this in­for­ma­tion against her.

When a new Methodist min­is­ter Gideon Stone ar­rives from New­lyn, half-dead from the sea, he is res­cued from drown­ing by Mary. As he re­cov­ers, Gideon sees her ac­tion as ev­i­dence of the power peo­ple have over their lives. Des­per­ate to rid the vil­lage of su­per­sti­tion he marks her out for praise. But some of her neigh­bours would pre­fer the new min­is­ter favours more gen­tile young women.

Gideon isn’t all he seems and has se­crets of his own so when Mary’s en­e­mies look to move against her, will any­one be able to pro­tect her?

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