When her scheming stepfather determines to wed her to his conniving nephew Margaret Macy knows she must take desperate measures in order to avoid a matrimonial disaster. Disguising herself as a housemaid and deserting London for the country town of Maidstone, Margaret discovers her privileged life has left her completely unprepared for manual work and the ignominies of being a servant. Shocked to discover she has been employed at Fairbourne Hall, the home of the Upchurch brothers - Nathaniel whom she rejected and Lewis who had found her wanting.
Nathaniel Upchurch has too long remained in his flamboyant and handsome brother's shadow. As he returns from the family's Barbados sugar plantation to balance the books at home, Nate spurns the woman who painfully rejected his suit but his heart refuses to follow his head. When she disappears Nate is left to ponder what might have been.
As Margaret tries to hide her fumbling ignorance of household chores and remain unrecognised, her stepfather is on the prowl, spreading rumours and scheming ways to flush her out from hiding. Sharing life with people she would have barely noticed in her former life, Margaret learns that kindness and loyalty cannot be bought and first impressions should not be lasting.
Julie Klassen has penned another exceptional Regency era historical romance with the beautifully rendered The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. Classic prose, multi faceted characters and an entertaining upstairs downstairs plot make this story a joy to read. Heralded as a contemporary Jane Austen, Klassen writes with insight, wit and depth. From fascinating historical details that make the Hall and its inhabitants come alive, to the engaging characters of Margaret, Nate, Hudson and Joan and the mysterious villain, this novel is enthralling in every aspect. Nate is enjoyably reminiscent of the brooding yet vulnerable John Thornton of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South while Margaret's eye opening transformation from self focused debutante to humble servant is unmissable. Simply put, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a delightful pleasure, a story to savour more than once. Klassen's star continues to shine brightly indeed!
As seen at TitleTrakk.com
With thanks to Bethany for my review copy
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