Treason's Gift by Pamela Belle

Treason's Gift
ISBN 0330331027
  • Author:
    Pamela Belle
  • Title:
    Treason's Gift
  • Category:
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  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Pan Macmillan (December 3, 1993)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1890 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1360 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1719 kb
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In the summer of 1686, Alex marries his cousin, Louise and they are happily awaiting the arrival of their first child. But their world is shattered when the baby is born prematurely, and in the aftermath of the ensuing tragedy, grief and guilt affect their marriage.

The first time I read Pamela Belle's Wintercombe series back in the 1990s I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her main characters are fully developed and she does an excellent job of portraying life in Somerset during the turbulent latter half of the 17th century. I really liked the character of Silence who ties all the novels together. My particular favorite of the series is the final volume, Treason's Gift.

I confess the reason I like this one best is because I am very interested in the Glorious Revolution and I admire William III and Mary II. They each make a brief appearance and I approve of the way they are portrayed, which matches what I've read in their biographies. The William and Mary in this novel are very different from the Jacobite caricatures in Jean Plaidy's novels, which I loathe. I also liked the way Belle used historical characters like Tom Talmarsh and Henry Sidney as minor characters in this novel. Finally, I care about the characters of Alex St Barbe, his wife Louise, his sister Phoebe and his son Lukas. True, Alex is a complex character and he is most certainly not a knight in shining armor but he grows as a man during events in this book. I think Phoebe is probably my favorite female character and I enjoyed her relationship with Hugh Trevelyan.

I definitely recommend this novel.Treason's Gift
***If you have not yet read A Falling Star in this series and wish to remain spoiler free I suggest you not read further, nor read the product info on Amazon and Goodreads***

Treason's Gift is the fourth and last book in Belle's series on the St. Barbe family of Wintercombe. Louise is heartbroken with grief and guilt after the premature birth and death of her first child and it takes a heavy toll on her once happy marriage. Shunned from the marriage bed, Alex hies it off to stay with his sister Phoebe in Bath and a chance meeting with an old lover available is too tempting for Alex to resist, although he soon comes to regret the affair. Will Charles' mother Bab use her knowledge of the affair to destroy Louise's love for Alex and permanently drive a wedge between the two?

Without Louise to share it with him, Alex has no desire to live at Wintercombe and leaves it to his cousin and heir Charles (the estate is entailed to the next male heir), sails for Holland and is soon embroiled in William of Orange's plots to oust Catholic James II from England's throne. Can Alex and Louise ever mend their emotional wounds and find happiness again? Can Charles contain his mad obsession with Louise and Wintercombe or will it lead to further treachery and murder?

While not up to the same standards as the first two in this series and might be a bit too much of a romance for some readers (Alex and Louise do smoke off the pages when they are together), I still enjoyed it a great deal. I never knew much about this period in England's history, nor the events leading up to the "Bloodless Revolution" against James II and his Papist policies. Some of the retelling of the revolution was a bit dry - there was more telling than showing, but still interesting for history geeks like me. One very special treat was the way Belle managed to bring the Heron family and Goldhayes from her The Moon in the Water trilogy into this book - nicely done.

Belle is superb at peopling her novels with real characters and real settings appropriate for the time and place she puts them in, as well as the small details of day to day life and customs of the period. I'm very sorry this series has come to a close and I'll have no more Pamela Belle novels to look forward to (she's got a couple of fantasy novels but that's not my genre). Sadly out of print but worth hunting down, I highly recommend this and the Moon in the Water trilogy for anyone interested in 17C England. The series in order,

Herald of Joy
A Falling Star
Treason's Gift
This is the 4th in the Wintercombe series and sadly the last one. Louise and Alex are great characters and are trying to build a home and family. Many other characters are wonderfully depicted. The house "Wintercombe is as much a character as the human ones. It is written in turbulent times and is exciting as well as romantic. I have loved the whole series and am sad that Pamela Belle seems to have disappeared from the writing scene. She is a great author who stitches historical fact and fiction so seamlessly that history is a joy to read. Love it
Highly enjoyable reading
What a rich, compelling read. I realized that it was part of a series, and I had to catch up before completing Treason's Gift -- so I took longer than usual to post my review. Most books in the "romance" category have the HEA, close the book, and we're done, leaving what follows to our imaginations. This book is the HEA, except in the tumultuous times in which Louise and Alexander live, such happy endings are hard to come by. This couple does not have an easy time of it, and neither does the country. James II is about to lose his throne; England is in tumult. We read this story on many levels. There's the love story and its travails, but over-arching is the tale of what is happening to England. We have villains (and villainesses) and foolish men who make bad decisions. There is the heartbreaking loss of a child and what today might be called post-partum depression. The characters are flesh and blood; when they cry, we cry with them and when they are swept away by passion, well, we wish we were there, too. This is the best kind of historical romance -- one with plenty of history and heart-breaking, heart-thrilling romance. What a wonderful series. I only wish I hadn't started at the end! (I received an ARC on NetGalley. The views are my own.)
This book is written exceptionally well, as are all of Pamela Belles books. The characters in the series are positively unforgetable. I first read this series many years ago and read 4-5 books a month and I still vividly remember the characters, the plots and specific scenes in this series of books as some of the most memorable I've ever read. Pamela Belle has an amazing way with words and the ability to make you feel like you are living in the time. You will not be able to put it or any book in this series down. Read the series in order. Wintercombe, Herald of Joy, A Falling Star and Treasons Gift.