"The mystery is solved in the final tale of the Cuvier Widows Trilogy"
Layla Cuvier only married her husband Jean, at her fathers'
insistence to try and save the family shipping business
from folding. Stuck in a marriage not of her choice she is
miserable and only wants to be freed of him. Then, one
morning her maid Collette awakens her to discover Jean dead
and her wish has finally come true, she is free.
Except, life has played the cruelest of jokes on Layla. Not
only was her husband murdered and she is considered the
primary suspect, she is penniless. Her marriage was a sham,
as Jean actually had married two other women, and since she
specifically wasn't mentioned in the will, was left with
nothing. Added to this, Jean's shyster lawyer Drew Soulier,
someone she had childhood crush is the only person trying
to assist Layla in trying to prove her innocence of the
murder. But how can she trust the man who helped Jean
swindle her father out of her inheritance as well as who
she blames for ending up in this mess?
Sylvia McDaniel has written an interesting mystery of who
really murdered Jean Cuvier. One of the aspects that really
pleased me with this story is that I really felt like there
was an investigation and a court room drama going on; and
our author doesn't appear to be an attorney. Even while I
enjoyed this, there were certain, vital clues that were
mentioned, that I felt were not followed up on until almost
the end of the trial. Also, the fact that things were
continuously repeated, generally at the beginning of a new
chapter became old for me.
I had a hard time accepting the relationship between Drew
and Layla. I don't want to give away details because I feel
it would spoil the story, but the lawyer/client
relationship was brought up as being a bad thing, and yet
there were no repercussions of the relationship. It was
almost as if the relationship was between two sets of
people. One set had the romantic relationship, with the
normal pitfalls of a romance and then the second set was
the lawyer/client business relationship. Then the trial is
over allowing our couple to pursue a relationship apart or
STARLIGHT SURRENDER is the third and final story in the
Cuvier widows trilogy. The first two stories are about
Jeans legal wife and the other woman duped in the marriage.
Because this is the final chapter per say on who murdered
the "husband" I think you might want to read the first two
stories first, but since I haven't read them, I don't know!
STARLIGHT SURRENDER also has some very well written moments
that make the story memorable, so if you are interested in
a little court room drama/mystery with your historical
romance, I think you might enjoy the story.
Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted November 19, 2004
Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted November 22, 2006