Review: The Highwayman’s Daughter by Henriette Gyland

higwatThe Highwayman’s Daughter by Henriette Gyland

“Is it a crime to steal a heart?

Hounslow, 1768. Jack Blythe, heir to the Earl of Lampton, is a man with great expectations. So when his carriage is held up by a masked woman, brandishing a pistol and dressed as a gentleman of the road, he wholly expects to have his purse stolen. And when he senses something strangely familiar about the lovely little bandit, Jack also expects to win his cousin’s wager by tracking her down first.
But as Jack and the highwaywoman enter into a swashbuckling game of cat and mouse, uncovering an intricate web of fiercely guarded family secrets, the last thing Jack expects to have stolen is his heart. ”

 

The moment I saw this book cover on Choc lit’s website back in Decemeber- I knew I wanted to read this book. It was well worth the wait.

Cora is a cross between a Barbara Cartland heroine and Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft. She certainly can stand her own in a time when women were treated like chattel. The romantic lead in the story, Jack, refers to her as Nemesis. I loved that because he recognizes her as his equal and not a conquest. There is a lot of electricity between them and a few sparks.

Henriette Gyland recreates a part of London, Hounslow- as it was in 1768, which is more complicated than you think because nothing remains of that original location. It is now buried under runways as part of Heathrow Airport.

The Highwayman’s daughter is a little hard to describe without spoliers- but I will give it go. It is action packed with a few twist and turns to keep you guessing. The historical details are so accurate it adds a deep rich atmosphere to a now forgotten part of London.

With all Henriette Gyland’s work there is a dark vein threaded throughout, which adds a sense of menace and mystery. There is also a very delicious gothic element of lush green ancient forests and moonlit nights.

Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put the book down. It is that good!

The Highwayman’s daughter was a skillfully crafted read that will transport you to the world of Dandies and Gentlemen of the roads. I highly recommend this gorgeous read.

 

higwaymanantThe Dandy Highwaymen: A brief history of Gentlemen rogues.

Highwaymen have been the scourge of the roads since medieval times but the Highwayman as we know it really didn’t happen until the English Civil war period. Reports of Highwaymen were even reported as late as the 1830’s.

What is it about these brutal robbers that have fascinated us for centuries and became romantic heroes? Just the mention of the name Dick Turpin invokes images a handsome figure in a tricorn hat astride a horse, with muskets a blazing. In reality, he and his gang terrorized and tortured remote farmers in isolated locations, just for their valuables and coin.

Although many were footpads and cut throats, there have been a few with legendary flair. Plunkett and Maclaine had been report to have conduct their twenty or so hold-ups with courtesy and restraint; earning them the label of gentlemen highwayman.

barbara cartlandThere is one man who stands out as the possible reason why Highwaymen was romanticized, Claude Du Vall.

He was a Frenchman who was hired by English Royalists as a stale boy and came to England during the Restoration. Du Vall was always handsomely dressed and never used violence on his victims. Some of his exploits included impromptu flute concerts and asking his lady victims to dance.

During that time, broadsheets which were a pre cursor to modern newspapers, became popular. There were often wanted posters, drawing and eye-witness reports of their adventures being printed. People read these Broadsheets the way we watch soap operas today.

Often, victims viewed it as an honour to be robbed by certain men and there was a kind of snobbery and hierarchy, as to which Highwaymen robbed you. Only the British could apply a class system to their roadside robbers.

hauf highwaymanUnfortunately, things didn’t always end so nicely for the Highwaymen as many were caught and hanged. Through ballads and literature, their legend stood the test of time. Now the Highwayman is a romantic figure in romance novels and films.

I think the appeal is the excitement of a masked man. He is dangerous, he could do anything to you and you would be powerless to stop him; but instead of taking your virtue and worldly goods- he parts with just a kiss.

There is nothing in today’s world that can compare to the flair and style of the Highwayman. That is perhaps why this masked figures have captured our imaginations for hundred of years- and probably for many more to come.

Also by Henriette Gyland:

blueBlueprint for love by Henriette Gyland

Blueprint for love or blueprint for danger?
Hazel Dobson is pleased when she gets temp work at Gough Associates -an architectural company based in a beautiful manor house in Norfolk. Whilst it’s a far cry from the bright lights of London, Hazel is keen to get away from a mundane job with a lecherous boss, and to spend some time with Great Aunt Rose, her only surviving relative.

Jonathan Gough is the owner of Gough Associates and despite his wealth and good looks, he has a tragic past to equal Hazel’s, having been left with the responsibility of two young sons.

There’s a real chance that within each other, the pair could find the family they crave. But there is something strange going on at Combury Manor- and some people just don’t want Hazel and Jonathan to be happy…

elephantThe Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

Peek-a-boo I see you…
When five-year-old Helen Stephens witnesses her mother’s murder, her whole world comes crumbling down. Rejected by her extended family, Helen is handed over to child services and learns to trust no-one but herself. Twenty years later, her mother’s killer is let out of jail, and Helen swears vengeance.

Jason Moody runs a halfway house, desperate to distance himself from his father’s gangster dealings. But when Helen shows up on his doorstep, he decides to dig into her past, and risks upsetting some very dangerous people.

As Helen begins to question what really happened to her mother, Jason is determined to protect her. But Helen is getting too close to someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden …

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6 thoughts on “Review: The Highwayman’s Daughter by Henriette Gyland

  1. Highwaymen – such an intriguing subject. I love the legends around du Vall – and to have a female highway’person’ is a nice twist in it. Definitely on my TBR list x

  2. Dear reviewer,
    Thank you for this wonderful review of “The Highwayman’s Daughter”! I’m truly delighted, and even more so for revisiting Adam Ant’s “Stand & Deliver”. Brought back happy memories 🙂

  3. When I saw the cover of this book – I immediately thought of Adam and the Ants too- with a side order of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I really loved The Elephant Girl. This one is high on my TBR pile too.

  4. It is a fabulous cover – I want to stand all the Choc Lit books face-out on my shelves because the covers are so lovely! And an intriguing story, I can’t wait to get stuck in.

  5. What a great combination: a cross between a Barbara Cartland heroine and Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft. Love it! And a great review, too. Sounds like my kind of story. I loved both Up Close and The Elephant Girl so I’m really looking forward to seeing your suspense skills in an historical.

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