It’s always a pleasure to experience historical England and Sarah E. Ladd continues to claim a spot as one of the top inspirational authors with each new book. Her latest has plenty of mystery, second chances and making courageous decisions.
In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, where her estranged uncle serves as the school’s superintendent. Upon arrival, Annabelle learns that she must shed her life of high society and work for her wages for the first time in her life.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to purchase land he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s death, Owen begins to consider a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.
It’s no surprise I’m a fan of strong female leads. What I particularly enjoyed, is that Annabelle grew into that role. She was brave and continued to take steps that weren’t often done then. I also appreciated the character growth of Owen. Each were dealt some hard hands, but they grew from them and were better people because of it.
While there were some plot pieces a few readers might pick up early on, I enjoyed seeing it all play out. I find the history intriguing as always (who knew that poaching was such a major issue?) and overall enjoyed the novel. If you enjoyed Ladd’s previous novels, you’ll be sure to enjoy this one.
What’s on your summer reading list? Any English novels make the list?
(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)