When young and beautiful Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rochford, widowed heir to the earldom of Belfield, she finds that her idea of love is not returned. Jealous, cruel and manipulative, Robert ignores her after she has provided him with a male heir, preferring to spend his nights with his mistress. Power-hungry, Robert builds up a reputation that sees him reach for the highest positions in Ireland.
Caught in an unhappy marriage, Mary begins to grow closer to Robert’s younger brother, Arthur. Acknowledging their love for each other, they will risk everything to be together. But Robert’s revenge threatens their lives and tears them apart.
Will Mary and Arthur find a way to escape Robert’s clutches?
Based on real events, Heart of Stone is a tale of power, jealousy, imprisonment, and love, set in 1740s Ireland.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Well this is one cool book to read, especially as the characters are real ancestors of the author John Jackson. How I would love to find such colourful people in my own past, well ok he tweaked the end, no spoilers as I am telling you neither ending but just loved it! So when you finish reading the story carry on and read what really happened and then the acknowledgements too, which are pretty interesting.
Now John Jackson is certainly not one for holding punches he tells all the nitty-gritty bits of his family history and stirs in a little extra in the mix. The Rochfords made quite an impression on me and the community that they lived in, in fact they are still remembered and not in a good way. There are three brothers, Robert, Arthur and George and a wicked father, the Earl of Belfield who on his death-bed sets a seed in the mind of one of his sons. This grows into an obsession that takes over his whole being.
Oh my, I know there are some awful people in the world but back in 1730 there were some darn right ugly laws that gave a man such power that he could openly abuse and neglect a wife or children because he ‘owned them’. Talk about cringing moments, this book made me swear more than once!
Robert had it all really, power, money, a pretty wife that loved him and the friendship of people in high places but to say he was a tad highly strung, a little vengeful and a bit obsessive would be a gross understatement. This bloke really knows how to throw a wobbler and having power and money means when he does, it doesn’t make a ripple it causes a tidal wave of hurt and heart-break.
John Jackson has put together a very powerful story. It doesn’t just follow this family it brings to life their surroundings. I particularly loved the settings in Ireland where the great divide of wealth and poverty was quite over whelming. From parties to prison and people who were used as pawns by brothers scoring points, I was riveted to each page. I am so very pleased that there is more to come from this author, as he shares his family history, warts an all. Just super!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After a lifetime at sea, I am now retired and living in York. For the last thirty years I have been working in the world of ship safety and training, and have written copious manuals, regulations, laws and procedures in that time.
An avid genealogist, I found a rich vein of ancestors going back many generations and including Irish peers, parsons, and naval and military men. They opened up Canada and Australia and fought at Waterloo.
A chance meeting with some authors, now increasingly successful in the world of romantic fiction, both historical and contemporary, have led me to turn my efforts to setting down some amazing stories. I am a keen member of the Romantic Novelists Association and part of their New Writers Scheme. I am also a member of the Historic Novel Society and an enthusiastic conference-goer for both organizations.
I was brought up on Georgette Heyer from an early age, and, like many of my age devoured R L Stevenson, Jane Austen, R M Ballantyne, and the like.
Modern favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Liz Fenwick, Carol McGrath, Lindsey Davis and Kate Mosse.