**Back again after a long absence! I’ve had a bit of a dry spell with books lately (very sad!), but thankfully, I think I am coming out of that spell! Just in time, too! Only one month left to the end of the year, and I have four books to read in order to make my goal of 25 in a year. Enjoy this review for my latest read!
I love books that surprise me!
Having read a lot of regency/victorian era books I was not expecting this one to be so different.
What I expected:
*Another sweet, cheesy regency/victorian era romance. I usually know what I’m getting. A light read in which a sweet/semi-complicated heroine and a knight in shining armor find each other and live happily ever after. There is some character development but not usually very deep (with some exceptions).
What I got:
*Complex characters (both main and supporting) with MANY layers! I found myself wanting to know more about the chef, and Hiram, and the housekeeper, and the butler. In the case of one of the main characters I began by feeling sorry for her, then moved to hating her, then loving her. Each of the main characters was brought to a low point and back up again, which allowed me to really get to know them and feel for them. I LOVE it when an author can make me feel for all the characters!
*A romance that was made even better by NOT being the main attraction, that took its time, and allowed me to fully get to know both people, see their faults, and watch them work through their conflicts.
*An ending that makes me frantic for the next book!
Brook has lived her whole life as the adoptive daughter of a singer in Monaco. When her adoptive mother died she was taken in by the father of one of her mother’s friends. Her best friend Justin, Duke of Stafford, finds her real family and brings her back to England where her father has been waiting for her for years.
Nice little beginning to a story, right? Sounds like it’s going to be the same old Cinderella type thing we’ve always heard?
But then there are the mysterious circumstances of how she got separated from her family in the first place.
And then there’s the fact that Justin has his own family history that he has to deal with, responsibilities of being a Duke, and his own feelings for Brook that he has never been allowed to pursue before.
And then there are Brook’s real mother’s letters that allude to something called “fire eyes”, the servants who aren’t sure whether or not they are ready to welcome Brook yet, her fear of love and disappointment, and the rest of her new family to win over.
And then there’s the housemaid who gets caught up with a jealous Duke in order to send money to her family back in Ireland, the footman who has always loved her, and her feelings of resentment for the new Lady.
Each chapter gently unfolds a little bit more about each character and their backstory, without giving too much away at once. There were things I did not find out until the very end of the book!
I have found a new author to love and I cannot wait to read the rest of the Ladies of the Manor series!