This mystery keeps the reader asking questions and compelled to read on to find the answers. A scarred heroine brought down from her noble, distinguis...moreThis mystery keeps the reader asking questions and compelled to read on to find the answers. A scarred heroine brought down from her noble, distinguished position in life and forced into service, taking the position of housekeeper at Gavington, a property in Northumberland. And her employer, brooding hero, Adam, Lord Jarrow, master of Gavington has a few secrets of his own.
Jen Black's excellent research and writing skills make this a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.(less)
4.5. Stars Although this novel begins in the English Regency period, it is not a Regency romance, it’s more a saga. Author, Joanna Lloyd’s story moves...more4.5. Stars Although this novel begins in the English Regency period, it is not a Regency romance, it’s more a saga. Author, Joanna Lloyd’s story moves from a London townhouse to a farm in the early Colonial days of Australia. It is in Australia where most of the story unfolds. Danger and troubles are heaped on heroine, Miss Electra Shipley, but she is no shrinking violet. While brought up as the daughter of a nobleman, she has not been cosseted. She is a practical, intelligent woman, brave and stoical, and has much to contend with after spending four months in Newgate Prison, the result of her uncle’s betrayal. He had embezzled her fortune after her father dies, and she is subsequently abandoned by her fiancé. Sentenced to seven years transportation, Electra is sent to Sydney Town, Australia, on a rat infested convict ship living in appalling conditions with the constant threat of rape. Once there, she must face further hardship working in a factory, until she is chosen for a marriage of convenience. The marriage does not begin well. She has little trust in any man and keeps her secrets close. Headstrong and proud, Electra exhibits courage in facing the dangers of a raw new land, and opens her heart to the experiences and the people she finds there. She proves to be a great pioneer woman, embracing the Aboriginal people while holding her head up bravely against censure from the snobbish British colonists, as she fights to clear her name. She cannot shrug off her bitter past, however, and does not immediately embrace her husband. William Radcliffe is a handsome hardworking breeder of merino sheep with dreams of bigger ventures; a wounded hero he also suffers a deep hurt from his past in England. With doubts, secrets and fears on both sides, their relationship proves a rocky one and they have much to face before it turns to love. But when they finally come together, sparks fly! Lloyd is a fine writer and there are many memorable moments in this book. “Electra felt like she was swimming through mud. Something terrible had happened but she couldn’t quite remember what it was. She knew William was trying desperately to reach out to her and she tried, how hard she tried, to let him know none of it was his fault. But each time she got close to breaking through, she was sucked back into a dark void, empty of emotion.” I commend Joanna Lloyd’s thorough research, she employs it well to paint a vivid pictures of those times. As an Australian, I enjoyed reading about those early years of my country and the journey of Electra and William. I look forward to reading the next novel Joanna Lloyd writes, it’s sure to be refreshingly different.
I think Erin Grace has a touch of the Irish in her veins. This was a highly original and entertaining read. It's a love story so we know there will be...moreI think Erin Grace has a touch of the Irish in her veins. This was a highly original and entertaining read. It's a love story so we know there will be some kind of happy ending, but it wasn't predictable and the author kept a light and sure touch as it unfolded at a good pace. We might have disliked the protagonist, but Grace kept us involved and on her side, despite the fact that as the Lianhan Shee, the Celtic Love Fairy, she had captured mortal men's hearts with a mere glance and trapped them into a life of misery and unrequited love until their deaths. (less)