A palace so grand there was none such like it in the land….

4.0 out of 5 starsWhile visiting Williamsburg, Virginia wealthy architect/archeologist Andrew Moffatt stumbles across the early 18C journal of Julian Cushing. At the request of a family friend, Julian undertook to return a portrait of Chloe Cuddington to her family in London – and found himself in love with the woman in the portrait. Intrigued Andrew decides to vacation in London and *stumbles* across a very old hotel run by members of the Cuddington family – descendents of the Cuddingtons who had for centuries owned the lands where Henry VIII built his extravagant palace called Nonsuch.

The portrait of Chloe that Julian brought to London is found in the Cuddington’s attic and Andrew also finds himself under her spell – have they met each other in a past life? Are they destined to meet every 200 years or so only to be parted time and again? What is the malevolent presence that haunts the ruins of Merton Abbey and why does it harbor such ill will against Andrew/Julian? What is the secret of the Lure discovered by young monk Thomas and where was it buried? Will Andrew be able to discover the secret of the Lure or will it remain buried waiting for another Andrew in another century? Will Andrew be able to find Chloe again or are they destined to part again and again?

I know it might sound a bit silly, but I found this really well done, outside of the parts in the present being a tad bit dated (it was written in the 70’s). I really liked the way the author took a real piece of history about the building of Nonsuch Palace and intertwined it with a  mystery and a love story and wrapped it up into a nice little time slip of a novel (no time travel – just hypnosis). My favorite parts though were the glimpses of the palace and its occupants, and the way the author used her characters to let me *see* it like I was there – well done. Out of print and a tad bit spendy used, but don’t forget to try the interlibrary loan program – that’s how I got mine.

PS, thanks to Sarah at Reading the Past for posting about this. I’d never have heard of it otherwise.