The grandson of a wicked sorceress schemes to marry a powerful enchantress in this gothic fairy tale set in the time of Catherine De Medici.Ariane De Cheney is the Lady of Faire Isle (a healer, seer and wise woman). She is the guardian of a legacy that has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Most of the people of Faire Isle respect her unusual skills and uncommonly good judgment. The title is honorary and the pay is nonexistent. Her father ran away in pursuit of adventure, leaving Ariane to tend her dying mother and her younger sisters (Gabrielle, the impetuous and Mirabelle, the dreamer). The most insistent of her father’s creditors has offered to settle her father’s debts if she agrees to marry him. Ariane is accustomed to responsibility, but she refuses to be bullied into anything.Justice Deauville has been tempered and shaped by two opposing forces, his maternal grandmother (Melusine, a militant wise woman) and his paternal grandfather (Count Renard). The old Count resented the shepherdess who had seduced his only son and died giving him an heir. Melusine raised her only daughter’s child and dreamed of revenge against the arrogant nobleman who had disowned his son for daring to love a peasant girl. Old Lucy would get her revenge when the child she raised inherited the earldom.
Justice learned skills that some call witchcraft and lived happily in obscurity until he turned 15. The old count’s other sons died childless. Justice would inherit the title.The De Vil Count lived up to his nickname when he kidnapped his young grandson and tried to beat his maternal heritage out of him. His cruelty only served to harden the new count’s resolve. Justice knows what he wants and goes after it. This time around, he wants Ariane. He knows the trouble she’s having and promises to help if she agrees to marry him. Ariane doesn’t like being threatened. She refuses to be forced into anything. Not by her irresponsible father, not by her rebellious sisters, not by the pompous, greedy banker who holds her father’s promissory notes and not by the arrogant count who dares take her obedience for granted.Ariane is determined to marry for love. But Justice stopped believing in romance and happy endings after his grandmother insisted he return to his grandfather when he ran away. In order to make things right, Ariane must teach her persistent suitor to trust.