England, 1660 and Charles II has been crowned King, although not all wounds from the Civil Wars have healed. Alice Ibbetson dabbles in plants and painting them and when she spies a very rare Lady Slipper orchid on Richard Wheeler’s property she aims to have it and protect it – even if she must steal it. Mission accomplished (or so she thinks), but Sir Geoffrey covets the plant for himself as the roots might wield the medicine he needs to cure his life-long skin condition. And what about Richard? Will he accuse her of theft and send her to gaol? Or will he fall victim to her charms instead? And what about her jerk husband Thomas dallying with that spiteful, sneaky, lying maid Ella? Alice’s theft has unforeseen consequences that will change the lives of everyone around her, let alone leave her at risk of facing …
Ummm, you know I can’t tell you that, don’t you?
I enjoyed this a lot, although I definitely preferred the chapters that focused on Alice and her knowledge and work with plants and painting them, and would have liked to have seen more of that. I had a hard time at first getting a focus on what was happening with the village folk, the Quaker community, as well as Sir Geoffrey and his family and how it would all tie in with Alice’s story – but never fear, there are more layers that unfold as the story progresses. My only real quibble, and it’s a minor one, is that many of the characters were a little too black and white, either very very good or very very bad. Still, an enjoyable read and one I would recommend.
FTC, I won this from Librarything’s Early Reviewers program.