Cassethea of Mercia



History and archeology professor at St. Albans University in Connecticut, Jessica Madison spent much of her life trying to live up to the reputation of her parents, well-renowned and published archeologists. Although Jess enjoys teaching, her passion, perhaps even near obsession, is her search to prove that a mythical figure living in medieval times, over one thousand years ago, was real.

That mythical figure was Cassethea of Mercia, a heroic woman who was said to have rescued enslaved women and children from their oppressors. Having secured funding to lead a small group of her students on an archeological excavation in England over the summer, Jess discovers more than she had bargained for, and finds that uncovering the past may not be her only passion.

Her first encounter with Devonsbury tavern owner Rayne Kvale left Jess hoping it would be her last, but Jess finds herself entwined in Rayne’s existence, and Rayne in hers. Can the two women reach common ground when Jess’s first impression of Rayne is one oozing of sarcasm?

As the excavation unfolds, many truths, past and present, find their light, whether welcomed or not.