Sent away by her father after her reputation comes into question, Maria Aubrey is living in an abandoned gatehouse on her aunt’s estate. With little means to support herself, she begins writing novels – in secret. Accompanied by one loyal servant, she seeks to start her new life with the few people she can trust.
Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate hoping to win back a lost love, yet he is intrigued by the girl in the gatehouse. Haunted by his own past, he also seeks to start a new life at Windrush Court.
This engaging story, set in 1813 -1814, is full of mystery and romance, forgiveness and redemption. But what most impressed me with this book were the characters. These very dynamic characters were so full of surprises that every time I thought I had one figured out, a new mystery appeared. From the eccentric and witty aunt, to the scoundrel cousin, to the strange man on the poorhouse roof, each of the characters was very deep and rich. Some you will love, others you will hate, but all of them make this a great book.
The story is very well paced; with little bits of enticing pieces of the mysterious pasts of even the secondary characters drawing the reader along, always guessing what might be next.
I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany house publishers. That in no way influenced my opinion of it.