"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 together.

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


A Woman Betrayed

Louisiana shipping tycoon Jean Cuvier ruined Layla DuChampe’s father and forced her into marriage. But when Jean is murdered, Layla discovers she was not the only woman Jean duped. To her shock, she is the third Cuvier widow...and she stands accused of his murder.

A Woman Beloved

Now, facing the gallows, and with no lack of motive and evidence to convict her of killing Jean, she must turn for help to her old adversary Drew Soulier, a rake, a charmer, and the best attorney in New Orleans. Layla knows that Drew has his doubts about her innocence, and those doubts are growing day by day. And as tensions mount both in the courtroom and in the storm of a passion they can’t deny, Layla finds her heart, and her very life, in the hands of the one man she is afraid to trust…


Starlight Surrender
by Sylvia McDaniel

Zebra Books
February 1, 2004
Available: February 1, 2004
ISBN #0821775197
EAN #9780821775196
317 pages
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Other Books by
Sylvia McDaniel

The Price of Moonlight
Sunlight on Josephine Street

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