Song of the Black Witch
Elizabeth Barr. Playboy: 1981.
Although surprising well-written for a gothic romance, this novel does not rise above its genre. Orphan girl, mysterious powers, young love, frigid wife, big house, every sex act gets someone pregnant, obstacles die, and couple are united.
It always frustrates me to see the characters in “historical” fiction judged by today’s standards. The good guy is a sensitive liberal, and the bad guys are greedy conservatives. Why not acknowledge that people did have different values 150 years ago? This is what Angle of Repose did so well.
Nevertheless, Barr has drawn some very good minor characters, who do fit into the setting better, and who are of some interest.