by Heather Graham Pozzessere

December 1987
ISBN: 0-373-7220-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #220
Mass Market Paperback

Ireland did not hold many fond memories for Kit McHennessy. After all, her husband died there only a day after their marriage and she still had strange, reoccurring nightmares about the pagan legends of the land. Not to mention the one, passionate night she spent with Justin OíNiall, ďthe ďOíNiallĒ. However, when she was offered a job opportunity to write a travel book on Ireland, she literally couldnít afford to turn it down, so Kit and her 7 year old son, Mike, make the trip abroad.

Once in Ireland, Kit couldnít refuse her sonís request to see his fatherís grave in the small village of Shallywae, however much she wanted to stay as far away from Justinís hometown as possible. Of course, it doesnít take long for Justin to discover that Kit is back in town and he immediately seeks her out and warns her to leave town right away. Although that was Kitís original plan, she stubbornly tells Justin that she will remain as long as she likes.

Justin is under suspicion for murdering his fiancťe and although Kit doesnít believe that Justin is guilty, there are too many questions regarding the circumstances surrounding her husbandís death and that of another young woman who was killed that same day in order for her to be entirely comfortable in his presence. But despite Kitís uncertainties (or perhaps because of them!), she still feels the same uncontrollable pull towards Justin that she felt that one night eight long years ago. But will her attraction to Justin cost Kit her life?

Despite King of the Castle being a contemporary novel, it has an almost medieval feel with its references to the pagan rituals of old and Justin OíNiallís Laird-like authority in the village. Itís like getting a bit of both worlds all in one!

King of the Castle is suspenseful and has a great murder mystery to compliment the love story between Justin and Kit. Ms. Pozzessere did a good job of making the culprit not entirely a surprise, but also not too easily predictable. I also enjoyed the well-written descriptive imagery of the fierce Irish coast as a nice change of pace from the usual England or the USA.

Justin is a likable hero, if a bit domineering, but that is understandable since the entire town treats him like a king. I found Kitís determination to remain in Ireland to be a testimony to her somewhat questionable intelligence. After all, she was not quite sure if Justin is a murderer and although she is receiving threats and sure she is being followed, she stays and puts not only herself but also her 7-year-old son in danger because of her stubbornness and, letís face it, her sexual desires. But while I didn't necessarily agree with all of Kit's decisions, especially those regarding her son, she was well meaning and did have her good qualities.

In all, I found King of the Castle a quick, entertaining read!

Reviewed in October 2002 by Nicole.

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