If you adore the Regency Era in England (think characters Jane Austen and Jane Eyre), you will enjoy the “Whispers on the Moors” series by Sarah E. Ladd. The series started with The Heiress of Winterwood. I recently finished the second in the series, The Headmistress of Rosemere. set in Darbury, England in 1816.
Book Summary from Goodreads:
Patience Creighton will finally find the peace she lost years ago–if she can open her heart and forgive the man who loves her.
Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she finds contentment teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to keep her father’s dream alive.
Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of land but possesses little money to manage the upkeep. He is desperate to find a new source of income, including the sacrifice of land connected to Rosemere.
When her brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience is heartbroken to no longer be responsible for her beloved school and is forced to reassess God’s purpose for her life. After her sister-in-law’s matchmaking brings Patience and William together, they both learn new truths about their character and find a common goal in restoring Eastmore’s legacy
Patience Creighton, filling the role of headmistress out of necessity, is a responsible spinster and sister, very capable of handling the school on her own. Her mother’s continual depression over her father’s death has not improved with her brother, Rawdon’s, absence. When she meets Eastmore estate owner William Sterling, her monotonous routine abruptly changes. Through a few peculiar and trying occurrences, hope for a different future springs forth and her faith in God begins to reawaken.
Character William Sterling is working hard to clear his debts from his days of gambling. After he meets steadfast Patience Creighton, he is drawn to a dream of a future with a family. Secrets from his past haunt him, however, as he struggles to clear his name. Unknown to him, his trials are slowly showing him the true meaning and value of redemption.
The progression of the characters as they search for resolution and uncover past secrets is realistic and true to an era which limited the roles of both men and women according to their stations. I was pleased to see that elements of faith and hope are prevalent components of the characters’ lives. Also, the setting of this novel is very enjoyable – I always love to explore different eras and countries through books! Sarah Ladd is a talented painter with words as she vividly describes the girls’ school, Eastmore estate, and the English moors.
I loved this novel, and I can’t wait to read the final one in the “Whispers on the Moors” series, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, releasing later this year.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Thank you to Booksneeze and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.