Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.
As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?
And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession–and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.
Lynda E. –
I am a cover art enthusiast and the first to admit that I often judge a book by its cover—that was what initially drew me to Roseanna M. White’s new novel set in the Edwardian Era. The title and the back cover description combined to lend an air of mystery and danger and that was all it took for me to eagerly devour this well-written and engaging book.
The back cover does not mislead: this book is complex and detailed with an intriguing plot that provides many sudden twists and turns to keep me turning pages long into the night. Family secrets are brought to light and play a part in informing the present difficulties that various characters face, but it isn’t until the last few chapters that the final details click into place and form a complete picture.
The characters are realistic and flawed, but they continue to grow as the book progresses so it never feels stale. Brook is likeable and relatable; her struggles and the emotions they bring about are easy to understand. Justin is very easy going and affable but has his moments where I wanted to shake some sense into him. Both are incredibly loyal, intelligent, and honorable—the kind of people we all would like to find ourselves blessed to know in real life. The secondary characters contribute to the story, but are not allowed to overshadow the principal actors, leaving me hoping that several of them will find starring roles as this series continues.
I appreciated the romance in this book, even as it is by turns infuriating and toe-curling. White has the ability to take characters to what the reader believes is the point of no return, only to give a realistic and satisfying conclusion that left me sighing as I turned the final pages. One of the best parts about the romantic relationship in this book is that it drives both people to be better, and they are indeed greater together than they would have ever been apart. One of my favorite scenes in the whole book involves the romance—the perfect mix of description and dialogue comes together in a scene worthy of a movie screenplay!
This book contains an incredibly strong spiritual component; while largely remaining part of the background for the early part of the novel, we see faith play an ever increasing role in the hero and heroine’s lives as they learn to trust their lives to the One who holds everything in His hand. Because it was expressed earlier, however, it flows seamlessly from the characters and is a natural part of the story. Larger themes of good and evil, spiritual warfare, sacrificing for others, and continuing to really live without a guarantee of the future are also explored in light of faith.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will be eagerly awaiting the next installment. I believe any fan of historical romance will appreciate this complex and captivating story and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers who appreciate a book with a little bit more meat to it than the average novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.