Love Is In the Air
"Affaire de Coeur" Plot Summary:
Scotland, 1430. Lady Elena discovers her lover Calum poisoned, and turns his dagger on herself. But Calum was merely unconscious, part of a ruse to trick their warring families, and he flees when he wakes to find Elena dead, leaping from the castle balcony with his wedding ring in his palm. Centuries later, a wealthy young woman named Ophelia tracks down Sydney Fox at Trinity. Ophelia has found Elena's ring in an antique show and wants Sydney to help find Calum's ring, so that she and her fiance can share the promise of eternal love in the legend of Calum and Elena - reportedly the origin of Romeo and Juliet.
Sydney and Nigel head to the Scottish highlands and check into the hotel that now occupies the castle where Calum leaped to his death. There, Sydney's old flame Francois du Maurier announces that he too has come for the ring...and for Sydney, for whom he professes love as deep as that of the Petersons, a pair of honeymooners who make love all over the hotel. While Sydney fights with Francois and Ophelia listens to local lore from handsome hotel proprietor Angus, Nigel does research in the castle library and realizes that Calum didn't commit suicide after all. He became Lord Aubrey, and likely hid the ring somewhere in his bedchamber.
Sydney spots an out-of-period fireplace in the old room and discovers a hidden chamber behind it. While she and Nigel check for booby traps, Francois steals the dagger with which Elena took her life. Yet when Sydney lifts the ring, the floor separates to reveal hidden spikes, nearly killing Nigel before Sydney and Francois realize they can reverse the balance of the mechanism by leaning on one another. After the danger has passed, the two are very excited, but Sydney's ardor cools when she gropes Francois and finds the stolen dagger in his pants. Meanwhile, Ophelia turns the rings over to Angus, telling him it would be selfish of her to take the rings from the castle. Then her fiance Brad arrives, but his absorption with money bothers Ophelia.
Sydney offers the dagger to Angus as well, but it is missing from her bag. Though she suspects Francois, it becomes clear that those lovebirds, the Petersons, are also thieves. Sydney captures Mr. Peterson, but Mrs. Peterson won't flee without him, so the two give themselves up, returning the stolen goods. Francois makes one more attempt to steal the dagger, but Sydney convinces him to return it for love of her. Ophelia sends Brad on his way, then hides the rings in a secret pact with Angus.
Beautiful music and soft-focus lenses enhance this dizzy love story, which starts with Sydney complaining to Nigel that there's too much lust in the air at Trinity and ends with several couples rearranging themselves...ironically, the thieving Petersons are the only original pair together at the end. Similar wit pervades the entire story: a menacing tango plays in the background while Francois gives Nigel advice about how to court Sydney, and Mrs. Peterson whomps Francois when he's supposed to be defending his lady. There's a certain irony as well in Sydney's indignation about Francois' attempt to steal the dagger, considering that she has no intention of telling Angus about the ring she found in his castle until Ophelia chooses to do so. Yet "Affaire de Coeur" is a sweet twist on Romeo and Juliet, if a bit cynical about the odds of a happy ending.
Relic Hunter Reviews