Title: SNAKES IN THE GARDEN
Author: Victoria Roberts and her daughter, C.A. Roberts
Format: Ebook, 102 Pages
Published: Victoria Roberts (July 26, 2016)
ISBN: ASIN: B01EXBCK22
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Following in the footsteps of her late father, Annella Poley is an assassin for the Crown. She’s determined to avenge her father’s death, no matter what the cost. But then a brawny Highland captain crosses her path and helps her uncover secrets of her past that might save her future…unless she kills him first.
Marcus Grant would rather be anywhere other than the English court. When his laird orders him to follow a mysterious woman who can fight as well as any man, he’s trapped in the last place he wants to be. Marcus knows Annella is not to be trusted, and he plans to expose what she’s been hiding—but that’s before he risks everything by falling in love.
He gave her an encouraging smile. "I know horrible memories haunt your dreams, but you're the strongest woman I know. If anyone can do this, it's you. We must kill the snakes in our garden, protect what we love, and let no man stand in our way."
SNAKES IN THE GARDEN is a YA historical with a strong female heroine. The story is mostly set in the sixteen hundreds in England. There's just a hint of romance with just some kissing and no hanky panky. This book is actually the inaugural collaboration of Victoria with her teenage daughter, C.A. Roberts. It is the story of Annella Poley, a kick-ass, no-holds barred assassin for the Crown, and of mountain-of-a-man Marcus Grant, the burly, no-nonsense captain of the Grant's clan guard.
We first catch up with Annella in Venice, Italy in 1602. We learn that she and her father have moved around often and have most recently settled here having moved from France. As she watches three young girls her age laughing and having a good time walking by on the street below from a window in their new town house, she wishes she could feel that she belonged somewhere. Her father interrupts her thoughts with a surprising request that she accompany him to a masquerade street event that night complete with celebratory fireworks. She is, of course, thrilled.
Her dear father has thought of everything as she discovers a lovely emerald dress with matching slippers on her bed. AND the ensemble is paired with a matching ribboned mask. He also gifts her with her mother's pearl necklace enhanced with a Scottish thistle charm. Her mother had died giving birth to her. But, her happiness is cut short when her father's throat is cut in front of her at the event and she watches his life ebb way. She makes a vow to avenge his death at whatever the cost.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
Annella frantically searched through the sea of people, afraid she was about to drown. Then relief washed over her when she met her father's gaze and made her way back to him. But as she stepped closer, all pleasure left her. A crimson liquid pooled over the fingers that he held to his throat.
"Anne," he choked out....
A piercing scream traveled through the streets of Venice.
He shrugged. "I am nae like any otherman. I am a Highlander."
No matter how much he denied his attraction to her, those red curls haunted his dreams like brilliant flames that couldn't be extinguished...
"Fuirich air falbh on teine," he said under his breath, but loud enough for her to hear. Stay away from the fire.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of Victoria's books that I've had the privilege to read. SNAKES IN THE GARDEN combines a light romance, court intrigue, and a mystery in an historical setting. The sweet romance makes it acceptable for young adults and the story is captivating to keep the attention of more mature readers too. It encompasses love, loss and learning to move on. I look forward to reading more from this nouveau partnership!