Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen in one of my go-to authors. I don't even read the synopsis anymore on the back cover so I won't ruin anything. I just buy the book and enjoy it thoroughly. This has been the case with all her books I have read and I always greatly anticipate the release of a new one. This is her latest and it does not disappoint. I've included the publisher synopsis below so that you can read it and I can focus on telling you my thoughts not rehashing an already well written summary. Julie Klassen's books always state that she loves all things Jane referring to Jane Austen and Jane Eyre. This book was a little more Jane Eyre than Jane Austen to me and I definitely prefer Jane Austen. However, I would still not hesitate to recommend this book. It is up to Ms. Klassen's superb standards. There is a bit of intrigue included to keep you guessing, mismatched loves, and even a dash of !intentions thrown in to the mix. If you haven't tried Ms. Klassen, I urge you to give her a try. You may just become an addict like myself! Publisher Synopsis: Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes? The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her... When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart? Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.

"The Governess of Highland Hall" by Carrie Turansky

I love a good Brit Lit book and a manor setting is even better. I am also a big fan of Downton Abbey and this book reminded me of the series in several ways so if you like the show you'll probably like this book as well. The book is set in the same time period - early 1900s - at a country manor house. We get a view of life both upstairs and downstairs. In other words, we get a taste of of the aristocracy that own the estate and the servants that work for them. I enjoyed having multiple points-of-view throughout the book. We get the most from our two main characters - the governess and the baron of the manor. The storyline kept me interested even though some of it was predictable but most books are in my opinion. Regardless, there were several turns I didn't see coming. This is the first book I have read by the author but I would definitely read another by her. My biggest criticism is that the heroine seemed almost too perfect. I certainly would have wanted to smack some of those characters under the same circumstances or at least give them a piece of my mind. At the same time, though, it did make me think about how much thought I give before I act or speak and asking what God would have me do. All good food for thought so that I appreciated. And I certainly wanted to know if there were any repercussions for the housekeeper in the end. Without spoiling it for you, let's just say that she always had her own interests in mind regardless of who they hurt or how she accomplished them. Sneaky snake. I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program of WaterBrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for my review.