This delightful historical regency romance has more than a bit of the Gothic influence. Set at the Cornwall cliff-top manor home of a baronet, the story includes intrigue, mystery and suspense. Shipwrecks are common and smuggling is big business along the Cornish coast, so there are plenty of secrets in and around the Weston mansion.
Emma Smallwood accompanies her father when he takes the position of tutor to the two younger Weston boys. The two older sons were students at Smallwood Academy in years past, so old acquaintances are renewed. From the beginning, strange things happen. Cries in the night come from the north wing, which is forbidden territory to visitors. Ghostly music is heard and personal possessions go missing. Emma is challenged to find explanations and to discern who among the Westons can be trusted. It is an unexpectedly difficult task.
Readers will quickly align with Emma in her quest and will be put to the test to solve the various mysteries. Characters are realistic, but not always what they seem, which adds to the mystery. Emma is helped along by a friend who reminds her to pray and to trust God always.
This is an excellent novel for a book club, as it has a list of ten discussion questions at the end. Conversation would surely be lively, as there are so many distinctive characters, various motives and personalities.
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review and am pleased to recommend it to teens and adults who enjoy historical fiction.