Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Story Time . . . GIRL IN THE GATEHOUSE by Julie Klassen

The Girl in the GatehouseBy Julie Klassen

Thanks to one poor decision, Mariah Aubrey has been sent into exile. She finds herself taking up residence in the abandoned gatehouse of a distant relative's estate, where secrets abound as numerous as her own. But when her tight finances force her to resort to publishing the novels she writes in secret, Mariah cannot be certain who is friend and who is foe among her new acquaintances--who will judge her harshly, and who will accept her for who she is, stained by ink and shame though she may be?

Captain Matthew Bryant has made a fortune in the war, but can it buy his way into polite society? Determined to win the hand of the only woman he has ever loved, the woman who spurned him for his inferiority not so long ago, he leases Windrush Court with one goal in mind--prove to the world that he is worthy. But the longer he is master of the estate, the closer he gets to his goal, the more he finds himself drawn to the mysteries of his lovely tenant-neighbor. Is getting to know her worth risking the scandal that follows her? Worth his dreams?

The Girl in the Gatehouse is the newest Regency by Julie Klassen, full of intrigue and intricate plot details that had me guessing up to the very end. Her characters were immensely lovable--Matthew Bryant is at once a swashbuckling naval hero and a man grasping desperately at the chance to be, for once, accepted. What better combination to make a reader's heart thud? Mariah is a young woman whose good heart contrasts so brilliantly with her shamed reputation that I was propelled through the story with the need to learn every one of her secrets, so that I might love her anyway.

Though The Girl in the Gatehouse didn't start as quickly for me as Klassen's The Silent Governess did, I loved how intricate were the mysteries woven through the plot. Each time I figured one aspect out, another twist was thrown in to keep the anticipation and intrigue strong. I found the suspenseful elements to be oh-so-interesting and compelling without venturing toward nail-biting; and the book as a whole was fabulous and satisfying. I could put it down--but I was eager to pick it back up.

Overall, The Girl in the Gatehouse is another amazing period novel from Klassen that leaves me thirsting for her next release. I adore the Regency as brought to life by this talented author and the way love burrows deep into the heart through her characters. A definite must-read for those historical romance readers out there! (And if we're judging books by their covers, this ranks as one of my favorites!)

3 comments:

  1. The cover is what drew me in and I had to pick it up and read it. Loved it! I'm so glad someone is writing good Regency fiction.

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  2. I liked the house pictured on the front cover which motivated me to buy the book. But just like Roseanna White said, it turns out sometimes you can judge a book by its cover!

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  3. Each time I pick up one of Klassen's novels I learn more about the society of Regency Britain, discover new characters to love, and experience a singular story with such varied elements I can't truly categorize it as any specific genre. Mystery and suspense tend to always appear and the ever present romance strand as well in her works. She crafts a beautiful and entrancing tale set in yesteryear yet never leaves the reader disappointed by a lack of originality or glaring inconsistencies regarding historical settings.

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