Book Review: A Lady of Willowgrove Hall

2 Nov

688370Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness.

His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years. Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own – one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love. When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?


SLadd-118Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance and a finalist in the Debut Author category of the 2014 Carol Awards. The second book in the series, The Headmistress of Rosemere (2013), was on the ECPA best-seller list for several months. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.


My Impressions:

Sarah Ladd has done it again with A Lady of Willowgrove Hall. She has written an historical romance that brings to mind the classic stories of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. This well-written Regency novel is a recommended read for fans of the genre.

Cecily Faire and Nathaniel Stanton are people with shameful pasts. Mistakes and indiscretions keep them from living the lives they want. Too many people are determined to chart their courses and leave them yearning for true love. Forgiveness is hard to come by and even harder to bestow, but it is the one thing that will set them free.

A well-researched setting and time period combine with strong characterization to produce a thoroughly enjoyable read. Ladd brings to life the manners and customs of the Regency period and includes details that bring about a wonderful sense of authenticity. Her characters are believable in their motivations and actions. Both major and minor characters are well-developed, not something you always find in a romance novel. The theme of forgiveness, both the need to give and receive it, is naturally woven through the story. And while modern readers may be surprised at the shame that followed Cecily and Nathaniel, I found it extremely relevant even today.

So if you are looking for an historical romance that is more than fluff — a book with both heart and soul — then check out A Lady of Willowgrove Hall.


Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson and LitFuse for a review copy of the book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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