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Released: August 2013
ISBN: 9781301723515
ASIN: B00E5S09SQ
THE MANGROVE LEGACY
Author: Kit Marlowe
Length: Novel
Genre: Comedica Gothic Romance
Price: $3.99

A gothic novel of mystery, romance — and pockets!

Follow cousins Alice and Lizzie as they are kidnapped from Lord Mangrove’s funeral cortege, spirited away by highwaymen, then sold to nefarious seamen until they’re captured by pirates without so much as an improving book to read!

 

Excerpt
Lizzie could barely contain herself until MaryAnn curtsied and ever so slowly wandered out of the room. It was as if she were lingering for some specific purpose that Lizzie could not imagine. She had no more than turned the handle and closed the door before Alice's cousin could no longer contain her excitement.

"Alice, can you imagine?"

Alice could easily imagine many things. Ask her to imagine the finest feast the cook could devise and she would be quickly immersed in delectable mental pictures that varied from cream buns to the very tastiest lemon tarts. Or ask her to imagine the very finest clothes and she could picture herself awash in crisp crinolines and silks from the East. Or ask her to imagine the very cutest of small animals and she could at once see herself surrounded by the most adorable of puppies and the most precious little kittens, with lovely little colts and fillies prancing around the gathering and even an utterly adorable baby wombat beside her (she had once seen a drawing of an adult creature and could only guess that an infant would be too charming for words). Yes, she could imagine.

However, her cousin was in fact asking a rhetorical question and well aware of her young relative's easy ability. In fact, what she had in mind was revealing a secret heretofore locked in her own private breast without the knowledge even of her guardians. I'll give you a hint that it has much to do with the King of Naples, but unfortunately, at the moment Lizzie was about to divulge this momentous mystery, a most peculiar thing happened.

Far below them in the garden came a singular sound of alarm. Alice and Lizzie's eyes met and like one woman (though they were in fact still two) they ran to the window. They unlatched the window and thrust themselves out, leaning precariously over the sash to take in the scene below.

Alice's mother stood transfixed, a pair of gardening shears in her hand, the other hand shading her view from the morning sun. Arthur stood stock still, his mouth agape (a look which did little to credit him to either young woman, although perhaps Alice more particularly, for she saw in him the progenitor of a bevy of slack-jawed children that she dreaded to be the mother of in any consequential way). A small number of rather sweet honeybees droned on without alarm, nestling in the fading flowers of the honeysuckle, tasting perhaps the last dregs of what had been until lately a rather fine late spring.

Alice and Lizzie, however, gasped in horror as the ghost of Alice's father sternly beckoned from the rhododendron (or should that perhaps be rhododendra? Alice could not help wondering, confusing her Latin and horticulture). As in life, he was nigh on wordless but grim and formidable. Clearly, he had a mission today, important enough to drag him away from the parlour where his lifeless body lay awaiting the funeral photos and cortege of reluctant mourners.

"Millicent!" Lord Mangrove intoned with a sonorous boom.

Alice could be forgiven for wondering for a moment who on earth he might be addressing. However, it did not take her very long to recall that her mother's given name was in fact Millicent, a fact the latter often neglected to recall herself.

"Millicent," Lord Mangrove's ghost continued, "You must obey my dying wish!"

Lizzie heard Alice's involuntary intake of breath. What could it be? The mystery hung before them like a small rain cloud waiting for the words of Lord Mangrove to dispel it.

"Do you mean about the azaleas?" Lady Mangove asked hopefully.

Lord Mangrove's ghost was quick to respond. "Not the azaleas! Alice!"

Alice's attention perked up considerably at that remark, as you can easily imagine. She was always more interested in conversations about herself.

"Oh dear," Lady Mangrove grumbled, "You don't mean to say —"

"Indeed I do!" Lord Mangrove's ghost countered rather irritably. "Alice must marry Mr. Boylett!"

What the reviewers are saying
Delightful!
A delight to the ears; a most worthy tale to lift uplift oneself from thoughts of inevitable mediocrity! . . . Period literature never had it this good . . . A witty and clever satire of the customs and culture of the time, our author manages to keep the pace rattling along without departing from the formal and polite tones of an authentic piece from its time. Who said 'improving' books were dull! ~ Reader, Amazon

• • •

This is a slightly silly book. There are kidnappings, pirates, ghosts and several swoonings, a light tone, a little romance and a very silly girl called Alice, with a far more sensible cousin called Lizzie. The Mangrove Legacy is a comedy gothic romance and it’s a joy. Extremely well written with some very entertaining asides from the author, especially early on and around Alice’s character, it’s a book you can fly through in a relaxing, self indulgent afternoon . . . Although Alice is largely a bit silly and Lizzie while more sensible is hardly the most solid and down to earth character ever, I did find myself very fond of them both and somewhat invested in their well being during their chaotic adventures. Of course they had me at ‘fall in love with not entirely suitable men’ . . . This is a genuinely entertaining, superbly crafted, somewhat silly and utterly wonderful book. An antidote to too serious romances with ludicrous plots, knowingly tongue in cheek and yet still offering characters you can’t help but like and empathise with and adventures that have you almost skipping ahead to check everyone makes it out ok. It also makes a very serious point about pockets . . . Heartily recommended to anyone who has a sense of humour, even if comedy, gothic and romance are three genres they firmly shun under normal circumstances. ~ Adele, Unboundblogzine

• • •

For anyone looking for an extraordinary and unique read, look no further than Kit Marlowe, and certainly no further than The Mangrove Legacy. This story follows two young cousins, Alice and Lizzie, through the death of Lord Mangrove, to kidnapping and kidnapping again, across land and sea, and through adventure and intrigue the like no two refined ladies should ever have to endure . . . But . . . this IS a romance and a great adventure so our two heroines enjoy these antics more than two refined ladies should! Oh, my!! . . .
To say there is something for everyone in this book would be an understatement. Not only do we have a historical romance, piracy on the high seas, and kidnapping by highwaymen, there are also ghosts, swoonings, and for one cousin, the love of all things creepy crawly! . . . I suppose The Mangrove Legacy could be classed by many genres, but probably more so as a comedic gothic romance with mystery and paranormal elements . . . Sound like a complicated read? Not in the least. Kit Marlowe expertly weaves this story with expertise. While a bit tongue-in-cheek, The Mangrove Legacy is every bit as engaging as a traditional romance and/or adventure story. And it IS true adventure. Imagine, two cooped up ladies with impending marriages to men not of their choosing who are suddenly set free in their kidnapping. Ironic? Yes. But this makes for great reading. Pages will slip by without notice as the reader travels side-by-side with Alice and Lizzie as they forge a new future for themselves. Even while trying to preserver the legacy of Mangrove. Awesome stuff! ~ Heart of Fiction

 

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