The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall by Lotte R. James
ABOUT THE BOOK
She arrived as a housekeeper. Will she leave as a countess?
To some, Thornhallow Hall might be tarnished by tales of vengeance and ghosts, but to new housekeeper Rebecca Merrickson it represents independence and peace from her tumultuous past. Until the estate’s owner, William Reid, the disappeared earl, unexpectedly returns… After clashing with him over the changes she’s made to the house, Rebecca slowly unearths the memories that haunt brooding Liam—and her defiance gives way to a shockingly improper attraction to her master!
This is a captivating tale full of secrets and teaming with hints of Jane Eyre including a brooding Lord and a defiant and determined young housekeeper.
Rebecca has been running for fifteen years and she finally has found a job as housekeeper where she has the independence and autonomy to make a difference. With her unorthodox ways and friendly manner, she eventually wins over the small contingent of servants, and since the Disappeared Earl has not set foot in the manor for a decade, she takes the liberty of cleaning more of the large manor than ordered thinking it is such a travesty to let it fall into ruin. Until the glowering Earl suddenly returns and tempers flair along with an unprofessional attraction.
Liam has stayed away from his home for long enough and plans to face his demons and give up his Earldom. There are too many bad memories to keep him here. Yet, the young and vibrant housekeeper has brought his home to life and has forced him to fight his demons while beguiling him all at the same time.
I love the slow build of Rebecca and Liam’s attraction. Rebecca’s strength and professionalism are admirable. Though she has been pursued by an evil person for most of her life, she is courageous and determined to make her life work wherever she is. But her inappropriate behavior with Liam cannot continue and her determination to maintain her professional obligations as the housekeeper is commendable. Liam falls for Rebecca’s courage and strength as they battle wits and reveal their secrets. As he realizes, what all he will lose if he goes back to the old ways, he makes an important decision that is unheard of for a person of his stature. In addition, there is some nail-biting suspense towards the end when Rebecca’s past almost gets them all killed. The honesty between Rebecca and Liam is what makes their relationship so remarkable and what kept me rooting for a HEA against all odds.
The supporting characters are mainly the other servants at the Hall who become Rebecca and Liam’s only family. The steadfast butler, Mr. Brown, is my favorite with his austere outward appearance and kind heart.
I recommend this historical romance for those who adore gothic nuances, long-buried secrets, and a forbidden romance that will stand against time.
Thank you to Ms. James for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a book.
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