Fiona Hood-Stewart







Mira, March 2003
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding

Soon after Charlotte MacLeod Drummond made the decision to leave her abusive marriage to movie actor John Drummond, he fell into a coma as the result of a stunt accident while filming. Retreating to the Isle of Skye with her daughter, Charlotte has never followed through on her plans to divorce John. Instead she has spent years visiting the bedside of a man she no longer loves. When her distant cousin, Bradley Harcourt Ward, inherits the title Lord MacLeod, and Strathaird Castle, Charlotte's home, she finds the courage to begin moving on with her life.

An American, Bradley Harcourt Ward is the CEO of a successful porcelain and decorating enterprise based in New York City. He attempts to break his grandparents' will so Strathaird Castle would revert to Charlotte and her mother, but the courts won't allow it. Charlotte doesn't begrudge Bradley the estate, but welcomes the incentive it gives her to move on with her life. Prior to his taking possession, she moves out of the Castle into a thatched cottage her grandparents left to her, and sets up a jewelry design business in the village. When Bradley takes up temporary residence at Strathaird Castle they discover the romantic chemistry they shared when they were young is still there. But so many obstacles stand in their way, Bradley is engaged to socialite Sylvia Hansen and Charlotte is still legally married.

In a league with Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steel, Ms Hood-Stewart has written a sophisticated story filled with drama and aristocratic characters. The elegant and cosmopolitan settings blends beautifully with this highly emotional tale. You almost need a program to keep up with the cast of characters introduced in this novel. The fiance, Sylvia Hansen, has escaped the backwoods of Little Rock, Arkansas, and even when she realizes Brad has fallen in love with Charlotte, she doesn't just give up easily and walk away. And a subplot involving a French designer, Armand de la Valiere, who offers to launch Charlotte's jewelry designs in Paris brings dramatic revelations and threatens to turn deadly.

THE LOST DREAMS is a fascinating and complex tale that follows the next generation of MacLeods from the previous novel, THE STOLEN YEARS. The author brings this glamorous world to life and creates realistic and interesting characters. The only problem I had with this novel is the tone is sometimes morose and the narrative is filled with lots of introspection. Despite this, I have no doubt Fiona Hood-Stewart fans will enjoy this novel. 


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