Regency Era stories are becoming some of my favorites! After two great books in Sarah E. Ladd’s “Whispers on the Moors” series, I was excited to read the conclusion, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall. Each of these stories has been captivating and unique, each being a complete story that stands alone but fits beautifully in this series. (Read my reviews of The Heiress of Winterwood and The Headmistress of Rosemere)
Cecily Faire has a secret—and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady’s companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past.
As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice—including the beautiful new lady’s companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove’s former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire.
When Willowgrove’s mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel’s inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive?
My thoughts: Sarah has the unique talent of writing the Regency era exceptionally well. She beautifully paints the characters, settings, and dress in a vivid manner. Her stories are comparable to the well-known classics of that era (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte), but with a modern language consideration which makes them flow smoothly for the 21st century reader.
The secrets that both Cecily and Nathaniel keep hidden are revealed to the reader early on, so the ensuing story builds tension to the moment they could be revealed. Watching the character of Cecily grow and change through this story was delightful. After a dramatic event early in her life, she spent many years under the shelter of a girls’ school. Through her eyes, we see her adjust to the new and formal life of a lady’s companion, open up to new friends and confidants of her own, and reluctantly fall in love. Cecily’s steadfast faith in God through all the ups and downs of her journey is a credit to her character.
With a themes of forgiveness and love, I thought that this was a beautiful conclusion to Sarah’s series. I would recommend this to any fans of historical romance or the Regency era.
Thank you to BookLook Bloggers.com for the complimentary review copy in exchange for my honest review.